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Hi Paul,

Just a few weeks ago I managed to find an original copy of “With Respect…to RFD”. It was a surprise find in a used-book store in Arkansas. It is wonderful and indeed something to digest in bites. I am surprised that you have not read “The Book of Oz Cooper” because it is one of the real treasures in my library. Not easy to find, but a real classic.

Rick

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I am so envious, having gotten interested in printing rather late in life and needing to parcel out my time — and money — between reading about printing and actually printing. I am overwhelmed by the reading lists I’ve run across — one from the Letpress archives, one on the Typophiles’ site, and one here on Briar Press — so I’m trying to read those of an instructive nature. I bought some of the Dale Guild’s Civilit√© type and have a project vaguely in mind, so this summer I hope to get through Civilit√© Types by Carter and Vervliet. A little specific since I haven’t finished De Vinne’s Printing Types yet, but this is what happens when your time is limited.

Barbara

Hi Paul,

Glad to know that you have the marvelous Book of OZ. I also have DaBoll’s Chautaugua book and it too is a real classic. I have not run across of copy of Paul Standard’s book (yet!).

Going off on a Chicago tangent, you should read Ralph Fletcher Seymour’s book “Some Went This Way.” It is his autobiography and contains many wonderful Chicago stories.

One more Chicago printing book - “Poorer Richard” by Norman Forgue. Great stories from that period.

Rick

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Hi Paul,

This thread got my juices flowing so I went and pulled down my Poorer Richard and skimmed over it again to find my favorite Norman Forgue story. It isn’t in there!!!!!!!!!!!

Now I am at a loss to figure out where it might be. Perhaps in a little booklet done by Ward Schori????? Or maybe it was Ward that related the story to me many years ago.

This one is too good to disappear into obscurity.

When Norman was young, his job at one time was as a chauffer for one of the Chicago mob gangs. Not sure if it was one of Capone’s outfits or not. The story goes that one evening Norman was supposed to drive a group to a restaurant for diner. This usually meant that he stayed with the car for hours until they were done and then transported them home. This particular evening happened to be Norman’s mother’s birthday and someone in the gang knew this. After they arrived at the restaurant they told Norman to go home and see his mother and then come back later and pick them up. He did just that, but when he returned he found out that they had all been gunned-down in the restaurant that night!

Ward was great friends with Norman for decades and swore that this was a true story.

I don’t have anything that Seymour printed in his 16pt. type, but I do have “Mr. Whistler’s Ten O’Clock” as well.

Rick

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Rick and Paul

Okay, you have put me to shame. My summer reading list (besides the ususal stuff I need to read to get ready for school in the fall) has way too few “fun” items about type and printing. I am, though, in the middle of a long project researching very early printing in Croatia and northern Italy. I was intrigued to learn that after Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Syriac(??), the fifth alphabet to be cut was the Croatian Glagolitic, now quite dead. The earliest printed Croatian book (1483, probably at Venice)) was a Catholic altar Missal. There is a fascinating marginal note in one of the handwritten manuscript altar Missals of the same era that remarks with enthusiasm that the Glagolitic Church Slavonic Missal is being printed. The quality of the printed Missal is outstanding, as was true of many of the earliest printed books. Too bad we can’t use lead in our ink any more. Those who argue about the “deboss” and “deep impression” should pick up some incunabula: the wet paper process produced a very handsome, even, slightly three dimensional impression that is impossible to reproduce by smashing the type into the platen. In any case, I am reading Saenger’s book on word spacing and re-reading Eisentstein’s “classic” work on the impact of printing. Add to that some very nice, but hard to access articles in Croatian on the early presses there, and my next month is full.

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Paul,

I wasn’t really looking for a contest ;-). Your reading list sounds a lot lighter and funner than mine!

The earliest Glagolitic faces were a of the so-called “square uncial” style. They are suprisingly modern looking for their fairly straight lines and lack of prominent serifs. In some ways they are reminiscent of Copperplate Gothic. The first Croatian edition was beautifully designed and executed in two colours with two font sizes, plus caps (but no initials, which were added in some volumes later by hand). There is an online version of the entire book at http://www.nsk.hr/Bastina/knjige/Misal/misal.html, where you can see the typographic details very plainly. Of course, digital versions do no justice to the other masterful elements of this edition.

And I really do need to get some lighter reading lined up…

- Denis