Have just ‘celebrated’ the final day of my 7 year apprentice experience December 2nd 1943 in London.

Wondered if any other ancients are interested in communicating.


Bert Shapiro

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I was the last hot- metal apprentice in Los Angeles in 1969. Thanks for making me feel less ancient. I still have my Union apprenticeship card proudly posted above my desk.

Bert, Give us a *Tinkle* via the normal B.P. lines of communication, would love to *Put the world to rights* with One who goes back that far.

Bert S. and Pat R. did my apprenticeship `54 -`60 on the Monotpe, Hot Metal of course and just possibly *the Last Man standing* who had an insight into REVERSE Delivery on the Monotype, as in Arabic & Hebrew, courtesy of the Monotype School in London, paid for by the Royal Air Force - small rehabilitation at the end of Conscription, (Draft to the Americans.)

Not only upside down and back to front,!! but viewed and rotated 360 degrees as well, did not have to read it anyway, the 31 Channel Tape/Spools were keyed by Arabic speakers.

The above being the main reason that Elizabeth Cotton is an all time Musical Hero, i. e. Banjo & Guitar, Upside Down, Back to Front, & Left Handed & without re stringing.

When I read that Chet Atkins could whip the R.C.A. Computor with His amazing guitar Riffs, etc, Elizabeth would be close behind… Amazing Lady with a a little help from Pete Seeger..!!!

Seasons greetings to all that contribute to B. P.
M. on M. Dec. 2015.

Greetings to all.

My long subdued passion for type and all that flows from it can no longer be held down!

Questions: Anyone had an experience as an indentured apprentice in London in 1940’s?

Anyone know how to connect with a possible archive of work produced at the London School of Printing (located at Elephant & Castle) during the 1940’s

Lots more questions, but will hold off for now.

Best wishes from East Coast of USA


Bert, (Howdy Buddy) ! The following may be of help for a strarting point, Via Wikipedia, keyed in >Typographical Association Archives< gives a lot of info, including T.. A. operations in London and extending to the Provinces for certain issues.

At Chapel meetings, there was frequently directives, from Mr. F.C. Blackburn and Mr. John Bonfield, both secretary,s during the time of the Authors Indentured apprentice ship, in the last year of a Six year Stint, (in Union Shops) apprentices were allowed to take and record the minutes, of Chapel Meetings, under supervision of course. !

During this period and under the 2 Officers above, the Typographical Association became the National Graphical Association, and the Subs increased, slightly, even for Apprentices Pro Rata.?

If You call Up the directive and post, (authors ) above You will find the Whereabouts and Location(s) of the Archive records.
Good Luck. Mick.

Thanks very much Mick, will follow through



Hi Bert
Have been thinking about your enquiry — I used to work at University at the Arts London, of which the (now) London College of Communication is part of (formerly Printing and Distributive Trades). They have an Alumni Association, and I recall we used to have reunions of the old students,so maybe that’s a good idea to try get in touch with them? Not sure many from those years will still be about: I suppose they’d be in their late 80s early 90s now!!