Looking for good scan of Austin Specimen

Hello, experts and scholars,

I'm wondering if anyone knows where I could find a good, quality scan of the Austin Type Foundry's specimen of 1838. I found one on Google Books (pls see picture below), but it's predictably awful. Thank you for any advice you may have for me.  



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  • A very workable scan of the entire book is available through the Hathi Trust: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=umn.319510020822920&view=1up&seq=1
  • konrad ritterkonrad ritter Posts: 186
    That's wonderful! Plenty good for my needs. Thank you for your help!
  • konrad ritterkonrad ritter Posts: 186
    My school has access to it, and I was able to get a copy of the whole thing. If anyone wishes have one too, I'm happy to share it. Granted, the paper looks awful bad for an economy before the ravages of 20th-century European wars. 
  • @konrad ritter I would just be curious to know if it exhibited any innovations concerning OS numerals, since Scotch Romans often had interesting "hybrid" instances.
  • konrad ritterkonrad ritter Posts: 186
    I'm afraid I'm too unschooled to answer this question helpfully, Mr Papazian. I'll let pictures do the talking. These snippets are from their Long Primer 1, 4, and Small Pica 1 series. I'm happy to dig up more, if you wish. 






  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 2,062
    Interesting about the 7 being the sole not-strictly-lining figure in the second half of the first sample, and the second sample.

    At least, I would call it that.

    First half of the first sample, the 7 is in a range that feels almost like I could just call it overshoot? More subtly unusual.
  • konrad ritterkonrad ritter Posts: 186
    And, if anyone cares, a snippet of the letters themselves, in the same order. Note the unequally tall ascenders -- /b/ and /d/ are shorter than /h/, /l/ and /k/ by about 10 pts, in our system of units. I think early Clarendons used to have that too. I'm a fan of these three faces. Some of the other ones show that picket-fence effect that bothers people. 






  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 828
    Interesting about the 7 being the sole not-strictly-lining figure in the second half of the first sample, and the second sample.

    What I had noticed was not the 7, but the 2, in the first and the third samples, as it reminded me of the one in Bell and Brimmer (and to some extent the related faces Brimmer and Oxford).
  • It’s interesting that this book, published in 1838, shows all the signs of discoloration and deterioration associated with wood pulp paper. Yet, in the book conservation world, it is generally held that wood pulp paper was first introduced in the late 1840s, following an 1844 patent for a pulp grinding machine filed in Germany. Does anyone here know more about this?

    About the 7: This “transitional” style of figures is generally associated with the work of William Miller, the Edinburgh typefounder associated with the early “Scotch” style. It’s not just the 7 that extends below the baseline, but 9 as well. Note that the 6 rises slightly above its top line, which is lower than the cap height, making the figures far easier to read in the context of a text. Matthew Carter, who knows a great deal about the types of this period, made similar figures for his Miller fonts. Here is a sample of Miller's figures from A specimen of printing types, Edinburgh, 1822.

  • konrad ritterkonrad ritter Posts: 186
    May I ask where you discovered that image, Mr Kosofsky? I really like it very much, and would love to see other samples. 

    Also, it seems that unequally-lined figures were already in place by 1785, at least at Caslon's foundry:
    https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/e29853a0-5f7e-0131-d9ae-58d385a7bbd0




  • konrad ritterkonrad ritter Posts: 186
    Also, it looks like uneven-lined figures were in lace by 1815 at Miller's foundry. This snippet is from his English Roman no. 1.


  • konrad ritterkonrad ritter Posts: 186
    Another one, from their Minion no. 3 series. 


  • The sample came from the Typefoundry blog of the great James Mosley: http://typefoundry.blogspot.com/2007/02/scotch-roman.html
  • konrad ritterkonrad ritter Posts: 186
    Ah, yes. Thank you. I did have a strong feeling that I had seen that page scan before, and now I know why. 
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 828

    It’s interesting that this book, published in 1838, shows all the signs of discoloration and deterioration associated with wood pulp paper. Yet, in the book conservation world, it is generally held that wood pulp paper was first introduced in the late 1840s, following an 1844 patent for a pulp grinding machine filed in Germany. Does anyone here know more about this?


    I am definitely not an expert on these issues. However, the discoloration of the book in those images appears to me to be consistent with a form of paper I've encountered in books from India. Possibly the book in question is printed, therefore, on hemp paper, if it predates newsprint.
  • konrad ritterkonrad ritter Posts: 186
    I'm not an expert, either, so I was surprised to hear Mr Kosofsky's explanation. I used to think large proportions of books printed on brittle/stained paper are associated with temporary economic distress. France after the fall of Napoleon, Germany after WW1, Russia after WW2 -- you see a lot of books like that from those periods and times. But, who knows. 
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 828
    edited March 10

    It’s interesting that this book, published in 1838, shows all the signs of discoloration and deterioration associated with wood pulp paper. Yet, in the book conservation world, it is generally held that wood pulp paper was first introduced in the late 1840s, following an 1844 patent for a pulp grinding machine filed in Germany. Does anyone here know more about this?


    I am definitely not an expert on these issues. However, the discoloration of the book in those images appears to me to be consistent with a form of paper I've encountered in books from India. Possibly the book in question is printed, therefore, on hemp paper, if it predates newsprint.

    I am now feeling a bit more confident in the speculative explanation I offered here, as a look at the Wikipedia article on "Hemp paper" notes that it began to be produced in Europe during the 14th century, and this production was displaced when it began to be possible to make paper from wood pulp.
    However, some further research suggests that hemp paper is of a higher quality than the kind of paper I'm thinking of, and instead that kind of paper is made from bamboo fibers in China, even though it is sometimes called India Proof Paper.
  • konrad ritterkonrad ritter Posts: 186
    A wonderful scan of the 1813 Miller Specimen, from the National Library of Scotland. Enjoy...
    https://digital.nls.uk/rise-of-literacy/archive/144606555?mode=gallery_grid&sn=1&from_row=1&reset_from_row=no
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 828
    I think I remember seeing pages from that in Updike's Printing Types!
  • It’s interesting that this book, published in 1838, shows all the signs of discoloration and deterioration associated with wood pulp paper. Yet, in the book conservation world, it is generally held that wood pulp paper was first introduced in the late 1840s, following an 1844 patent for a pulp grinding machine filed in Germany. Does anyone here know more about this?


    First experiments to use wood or reed for wrapping paper were by the German Johann Georg von Langen 1753.

    After 1767 paper manufacturers in Germany experimented with hemp, cotton and willow, because white linen became more and more scarce.

    1843 Friedrich Gottlob Keller invented the process of manufacturing paper from wood and invented 1846 a special grinding machine.

    We can guess that since 1800 paper mills tried a lot of materials like glue, resins, or bleaching chemicals to improve paper.



  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,720
    edited March 21

    Paper was made from recycled fabric. The Rag and Bone men and women who collected it were paid according to the quality of their merch, which varied considerably. Paper manufacturers, although they processed the fabric to improve its colour and texture, had scant knowledge of what particular plants, dyes and mordants were present in the raw material of their lesser quality products, not to mention substances that the rags had been used to wipe up, or which had leached into the discarded material in the agglomeration of “dust” (garbage/trash) piles. Sorting out the best white linen was relatively easy, but beyond that…

    ***
    About the Victorian garbage grubbers, I can recommend a couple of quite different yet equally fascinating accounts: in Edith Sitwell’s English Eccentrics (1933), and Henry Mayhew’s London Labour and the London Poor (1854).
  • Thank you, all, for your various comments on paper manufacturing, and Nick, for your reminder of Mayhew, which, as a student, I tried to slog through in all its volumes, but never succeeded. I do remember, though, the many descriptions of the "mudlarks," the (mostly) children who scavenged through the mud of the Thames to find things of value. These stories have come back repeatedly in British fiction. 

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