Letterpress Printing

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Typesetting - Woodcut of J. Amman, 1568 (detail)
Note the letter-case and composing stick

The individual cast letters were then placed adjacent to one another into letter-cases from which the typesetter could then assemble them individually in composing sticks into whole lines with filler between the words.

The next step was to compile the lines into a column or a page on a wooden board, the so-called galley which had to be quite stable. Then the page was aligned precisely and the line space was regulated with the aid of filler.

Dying of the type - Woodcut of J. Amman 1568 (detail)

The completed type-area was then dyed with printer's ink by means of a semispherical leather ball. Gutenberg's printer's ink was made of lampblack, linseed oil and eggwhite.

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