Yes, the World is Full of ‘em…Experts

Yes, the world is full of self-appointed printing and graphic arts experts who wouldn’t know a piece of type if they tripped on it.
While researching some material for my broadsides I found this on wikipedia under movable type…
“The California Job Case has three sections, with the rightmost sections containing capital letters in alphabetic order except for the “J” and “U”, moved to the lowest line to help avoid confusing them with “I” and “V” respectively.”
Where do they find these experts?
Any printer out there that believes this…
I like to sell you a left-handed composing stick!

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I saw another page, extracted from wikipedia, that explained how a Ludlow uses spacebands to justify a line. Maybe the wikipedia source has been corrected but the errors spread all the same.

Staislaus Pekela, kind of brings to mind the
“stereolithography” thread.

Hey James:
I’ve searched the wikipedia but couldn’t find stereolithography there! The “stereo” as in stereotyping must have some relation to the “mono” as in monotype!
It’s all beginning to make sense to me now!I think I now sort of understand the J and U as in JVLJVS CAESAR, and I guess it didn’t take much to confuse those stone cutters of that era. No wonder I can’t trace my ancestry that far back, all because of confusion over the I,J and U,V. We blame the archaelogists for that but it were those Californians with their job case. Must’ve been something in their water!

Technically the Wiki poster is correct, but didn’t take into account the development of the Roman alphabet. To quote from I. T. U. Lessons in Printing,”The innovation is credited to Louis Elzevir (1540-1617), learned Dutch printer. He was the first to use v and j regularly as consonants, and i and u invariably as vowels. He also adopted caps U, and later J to complete the reform. He added caps J and U to the upper case after Z, just as we find them today.” And I’d like to purchase that left-handed composing stick, (Rouse actually made them).


This example highlights the appreciation of information from Qualified or Experienced printers, especially for those of us that are new to letterpress and are rely on ‘given’ intelligence.

Thanks to the ‘Briar’ experts that contribute

To Paul
I won’t enter into any discussion of left-handed composing stick, but I have seen left-handed scissors and read of a left-handed corkscrew (not “corkscrew Fred”) and a few other bits of machinery. Maybe the left-handed stick is for some languages in Middle East? :-) :-)
Had a very brief discussion with an “engineer” who said a thread was tapped left-handed “because it was too difficult to get at the other end of the hole”! Try working out which way to turn a spanner if you are trying to loosen a left-handed nut on the other side of a machine where you can’t see it (especially if you have to use your lesser-used hand to turn the spanner); some cannot understand any difficulty, others are momentarily baffled; c.f. dyslexia.

We got a new Lino which was made in England.
Our engineer was astonished that we had no problem with the quadder which was marked left and right but quad left on the English machine put the quad (space) of the line on the left, same as previous machines made in USA did when quad right was used which some called flush right; similarly for quad left and flush left; but quad centre apparently was ambidextrous.
Research aircraft engines when the designer wants contra-rotating engines on twin-engine aircraft such as Lockheed P-38 Lightning, and how at the end of the variations of model of P-38 the problem was overcome; this kind of thing was said to be the origin of Murphy’s Law during WW2. There’s a claim that some aircraft engine failures were because parts intended for other rotation ran for many hours but eventually caused failure. Some cars with the brand Chrysler in Australia had wheel nuts which were left-handed on one side, very annoying especially if someone swapped hubs. (Many similar stories, even one in Jules Verne 20,000 Leagues under the Sea.) It’s time I ended this flow of trivia.


To Stanilaus

Am I being pedantic?

… full of ‘em

(not sure if this keyboard/operating-system gives the correct quote marks)

but if you want to get the correct apostrophe on some systems, type (keyboard)


and then delete the


Sometimes very difficult to persuade the Microsoft systems and others from giving the keyboard operator what the system decides instead of what is needed; we had problems when persons who had not served an apprenticeship took over some keyboarding in printing shop where I worked. This is also a lot of trivia? (We call it something else in Aus.) :-) :-)


Paul, I went and read the wikipedia and the artical
refers to type as slugs? I have never heard of type
being called a slug. I have heard of a line of linotype
being call a slug and in leading 6pt slug,12pt slug.
So the technical part seems a little iffy. best james

I tried “xxx’em” and my parental controls told me that I couldn’t access anything with three x’s in it!!!
My keyboard gives me a generic ’ ” single or double quote. Then when I use this it comes out as an end quotein the Bodoni heading!!
Now, “Am I being pedantic?”

@James. I didn’t say I was defending the entire article, I was commenting on the criticism made by SP. Wiki is designed so that individuals can make changes when they feel something is in error. If you feel something is wrong change it, don’t just complain about it.