Metallic North

Folding & sorting. Collating copies of Metal Types. Those are the Deluxe copies above. A sheet of millboard laid over the bed of the Washington makes a good table. Let's make today's topic technical: here's one of the additional pages included in the Deluxe copies.

It features Robert Reid's font of Columbus (displayed, with a brief history, in HM's Codex Miscellany), a face offered for only about 10 years on either side of 1900. As you can see, all of the Q sorts from Bob's case were lost over the years (it has travelled across Canada twice in its lifetime). This kind of thing - one letter completely missing - happened with several of the faces displayed in the book.

The Columbus is printed over an old & very worn map of what appears to be central Canada, as it includes Hudson's Bay. Old because there's a lot of "these parts unknown." The map (a zinc plate) was split across two separate blocks, each about 6 x 10 inches. Printing it as a bleed on the Washington would have required completely changing the form lock-up, which was not an option (half the book still to be printed), so it was printed with one of our large book (i.e. copy) presses.

The blocks were secured (taped) to a plexiglass base, and inked with a hand brayer. The paper was simply laid over the blocks, then the base was slipped into the press & the platen screwed down (tight). Voila. The map was so eroded that getting a good & even impression wasn't really an issue, and the slight variations between pulls (screws?) were interesting.