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Old 09-19-2008, 03:53 AM   #1
acidzebra
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Video: printing books in 1947

Here's an interesting video of the book printing process in 1947:
http://vimeo.com/1063458


We've come a long way, baby.

I couldn't find any modern book printing movies except for this print-on-demand outfit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoMfXxVFeks

Anyone have a more "modern" video?
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Old 09-19-2008, 10:53 AM   #2
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I've just watched this video and I'm astonished by the typesetting machine. One of my first jobs was at a small printing company. My "typesetting" was done my computer but from there, the process was almost as labor intensive and manual. From laser printer output to the darkroom where a negative and then metal plates are made for the press. The ink was mixed by hand. If the item needed 2 colors, there were 2 plates for the project. The pressman ran the first color with one plate, let the ink dry on the paper, changed plates and ink, and ran the paper through the press a second time. We had a folding machine, but booklet signatures had to be collated by hand. Oh yeah, this was in 1997.

I don't think I've ever seen a modern video that covers the entire process from start to finish. That would be interesting.

Dreamer
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Old 09-19-2008, 11:22 AM   #3
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Most companies doing "print on demand" seem to use one of the machines in the Xerox "Docutech" range. My local printer has one of these - it's an amazing beast the length of an entire room and costing an astonishing amount of money. You put paper in at one end and complete bound books come out of the other end.
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Old 09-19-2008, 07:49 PM   #4
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We used to have a Linotype caster that set line of hot metal at my school printing club, along with a Heidelberg letterpress printing machine. It was many enjoyable hours spent there that first got me interested in printing as a career (and also helped me fail my A-levels).
Of course you would never be allowed to have school children working that sort of machinery now in case they got injured. But back in the 70's we were often unsupervised, and nobody got hurt.
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Old 09-20-2008, 01:51 PM   #5
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Very interesting video. I knew nothing about the process, either then or now, before watching this. Now, when I look at my older books I'll understand the effort that went into them.

Thanks,

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Old 09-20-2008, 02:15 PM   #6
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I found a "5 color Miller printing press" which really shows the evolution of these behemoths. Google video has a few of these, and here's one labeled "environmentally friendly", and one showing a printing press is not something to get caught in (WARNING: not for the faint of heart, also not if you hate cliched voice-overs).
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