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Saturday, July 1, 2006

Chapter One Hundred Thirty, in which the Poem of the Month is featured

This month's poetry feature comes from an old book catalogue issued by Charles E. Goodspeed, of Boston, in the early 1900s. This wonderful little piece gives us a nice feel for the craftsmanship that went into the production of books before Mr. Ford's success led to the mechanization of everything. The author is unknown.
Description of a Bindery

Three or four cutting-presses and three or four pins,
Three or four dozen of calf and sheep skins,
Three or four setts of letters and eight or nine rolls,
One or two sqaring shears and a pan for charcoals,
Three or four gilding-pallets and three or four stamps,
Three or four candle sticks, three or four lamps,
Three or four ruling pens, three or four rules,
Three or four sewing benches, and three or four stools,
Three or four setts marbling-rods, three or four brushes,
Three or four burnishers, (agates and tushes,)
Three or four folding-sticks, ivory and bone,
One or two beating-hammers, and one beating-stone,
Three or four shaving-tubs, three or four racks,
Gold, brass and silver-leaf, three or four packs,
Three or four bottles, cups, phials and bowls,
A standing press, press bar and box of charcoals;
One or two polishers and a grind stone,
Three or four skins of Morocco and roan,
Three or four sticks of green, red or blue taste,
A glue pot, a brush, and a bowl full of paste;
One or two knives, scissors, needles and hones,
Type cases, gold cushions and paring stones,
Three or four bottles or cups full of glair,
Triangles and compasses, three or four pair,
Three or four tables for folders and sewers,
Pressing and cutting boards, three or four scores,
Three or four patterns for cutting out leather,
Three or four quires to lay out and gather:
Three or four titles to letter and pare,
Three or four volumes to paste-wash and glair,
Three or four backs to be rubb'd off and draw'd,
Three or four benches of books to be saw'd;
Three or four volumes that are incomplete,
Three or four dozen books all to be beat,
Three or four books to be cover'd and path'd,
Three or four old volumes all to be math'd,
Three or four jobs to be polish'd and mended,
A bindery to hold them and thus th' affair's ended.

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