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machine not only all cut to the same length and breadth, but with equal impartiality planed to exactly the same thickness.
The plates are next examined in another chamber by men termed pickers," who, with a sharp graver, and at the rate of about sixteen pages in six hours, cut out or off any improper excrescences; and if a word or sentence is found to be faulty, it is cut out of the plate and replaced by real type, which are soldered into the gaps. Lastly, by a circular saw the plates are very expeditiously cut into pages,
which are packed up in paper to go to press.
We have already stated that in Messrs. Clowes' establishment the stereotype plates amount in weight to two thousand tons. They are contained in two strong rooms or cellars, which appear to the stranger to be almost a mass of metal. The smallest of these receptacles is occupied entirely with the Religious Tract Society's plates, many of which are fairly entitled to the rest they are enjoying, having already given hundreds of thousands of impressions to the world. It is very pleasing to find in the heart of a busy, bustling establishment, such as we are reviewing, a chamber exclusively set apart for the propagation of religious knowledge ; and it is a fact creditable to the country in general, as well as to the art of printing in particular, that, including all the publications printed by Messrs. Clowes, one-fourth are self devoted to religion. The larger store, which is one hundred feet in length, is a dark omniam gatherum, containing the stereotype plates of publications of all descriptions. But even in this epitome of the literature of the age, our readers will be gratified to learn that the sacred volumes of the Established Church maintain, by their own intrinsic value, a rank and an importance, their possession of which has been the basis of the character and unexampled prosperity of the British empire. Among the plates in this store there are to be seen reposing those of thirteen varieties of Bibles and Testaments, of nume. rous books of hymns and psalms, of fifteen different dictionaries, and of a number of other books of acknowledged sterling value. We have ño desire, however, to conceal that the above are strangely intermixed with publications of a different description.
On the whole, however, the ponderous contents of the chamber are of great literary value; and it is with feelings of pride and satisfaction that the stranger beholds before him, in a single cellar, a capital, principally devoted to religious instruction, amounting to no less than 200,0001.
In suddenly coming from the inky chambers of a printing-office into the paper-warehouse, the scene is, almost without metaphor, “as different as black from white." Its transition is like that which the traveler experiences in suddenly reaching the snowy region which caps lofty mountains of dark granite.
It must be evident to the reader that the quantity of paper used by Messrs. Clowes in a single year must be enormous.
This paper, before it is dispatched from the printer to the binder, undergoes two opposite processes, namely, wetting and drying, both of which may be very shortly described. The wetting room, which forms a sort of cellar to the paper-warehouse, is a small chamber, containing three troughs, supplied with water, like those in a common laundry, by a leaden pipe and cock. Leaning over one of these Vol. XI.-July, 1840.
troughs, there stands, from morning till night, with naked arms, red fingers, and in wooden shoes, a man, whose sole occupation, for the whole of his life, is to wet paper for the press. The general allowance he gives to each quire is two dips, which is all that he knows of the literature of the age; and certainly, when it is considered that, with a strapping lad to assist him, he can dip two hundred reams a day, it is evident that it must require a considerable number of very ready writers to keep pace with him. After being thus wetted, the paper is put in a pile under a screw-press, where it remains subjected to a pressure of two hundred tons for twelve hours. It should then wait about two days before it is used for printing, yet, if the weather be not too hot, it will, for nearly a fortnight, remain sufficiently damp to imbibe the ink from the type.
As fast as the sheets printed on both sides are abstracted by the boys who sit at the bottoms of the nineteen steam-presses, they are piled in a heap by their sides. As soon as these piles reach a certain height, they are carried off, in wet bundles of about one thousand sheets, to the two drying rooms, which are heated by steam to a temperature of about 90° of Fahrenheit. These bundles are there subdivided into “ lifts," or quires, containing from fourteen to sixteen sheets ; seven of these lifts, one after another, are rapidly placed upon the transverse end of a long-handled “peel,” by which they are raised nearly to the ceiling, to be deposited across small wooden bars ready fixed to receive them, in which situation it is necessary they should remain at least twelve hours, in order that not only the paper, but the ink should be dried. In looking upward, therefore, the whole ceiling of the room appears as if an immense shower of snow had just suddenly been arrested in its descent from heaven. In the two rooms about four hundred reams can be dried in twenty-four hours.
When the operation of drying is completed, the “ lifts” are rapidly pushed by the “peel" one above another (like cards which have overlapped) into a pack, and in these masses they are then lowered; and again placed in piles, each of which contains the same “ signature," or, in other words, is formed of duplicates of the same sheet. A work, therefore, containing twenty-four sheets-marked or signed A, B, C, and so on, to Z-stands in twenty-four piles, all touching each other, and of which the height of course depends upon the number of copies composing the edition. A gang of sharp little boys of about twelve years of age, with naked arms, termed gatherers, following each other as closely as soldiers in file, march past these heaps, from every one of which they each abstract, in regular order for publication, a single sheet, which they deliver as a complete work to a "collator,” whose duty it is rapidly to glance over the printed signature letters of each sheet, in order to satisfy himself that they follow each other in regular succession; and as soon as the signature letters have either by one or by repeated gatherings been all collected, they are, after being pressed, placed in piles about eleven feet high, composed of complete copies of the publication, which, having thus undergone the last process of the printing establishment, is ready for the hands of the binder.
The group of gathering-boys, whose “ march of intellect” we have just described, usually perform per day a thousand journeys, each of which is on an average about fourteen yards. The quantity of paper in the two drying-rooms amounts to about three thousand reams, each weighing about twenty-five pounds. The supply of white paper in store, kept in piles about twenty feet high, averages about seven thousand reams; the amount of paper printed every week and delivered for publication amounts to about fifteen hundred reams, (of five hundred sheets,) each of which averages in size three hundred and eightynine and three-eighths square inches. The supply, therefore, of white paper kept on hand, would, if laid down in a path of twenty-two and one quarter inches broad, extend twelve hundred and thirty miles ; the quantity printed on both sides per week would form a path of the same breadth of two hundred and sixty-three miles in length.
The ink used in the course of a year amounts to about twelve thousand pounds.
The cost of the paper for the same space of time may be about 100,0001.; that of the ink exceeding 15001.
For the Methodist Magazine and Quarterly Review.
HISTORY OF THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
A History of the Methodist Episcopal Church. By Nathan Bangs, D. D., Vol.
III. From the year 1817 to the year 1828. Embellished with a Portrait of the Author. New.York: published by Mason and Lane. Pp. 471, 12mo.
Our readers will be pleased to find that this important and elaborate work is verging so rapidly toward a consummation. About a year and a half have elapsed since the first volume was given to the public. This was in due time followed by a second, which, as well as the former, met with a reception which could not but be most cheering to the author and the publishers. And while the earlier volumes have secured general favor, and been read with interest, we can have no fears for the one which now demands our attention. The events which it records belong to the present generation, and a personal in. terest attaches to them. It will also be borne in mind that the period to which the third volume relates embraces the history of the various institutions of the church, such as missionary, tract, Sunday school, and Bible societies, and the interests of education. The author has prefixed the following “ Notice to the reader :"
6. The favorable manner in which the first and second volumes of this History have been received, induces me to add a third, in the hope that it may increase the stock of useful information in reference to the work which God has wrought in this country by the instru. mentality of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
“ In the conclusion of the second volume it was remarked, that it was my intention, when the history was commenced, to bring it down near to the present time, in two volumes; but, as I proceeded in the work, it was found impracticable to fulfil this intention, without such an abridgment as would either compel me to omit some important transactions and edifying incidents, or so to shorten them as to ren. der them uninstructive and uninteresting. I was therefore compelled, contrary to my first design, to close the second volume in the “That this alteration in the plan at first contemplated has been generally approved of, I have evidence from numerous testimonies. Indeed, the greatest fault I have heard, from those who are disposed to judge charitably of my work, has been, that it is not sufficiently particular, or that its details are not as numerous as is desired. This defect, however, if it be one, I am unable to remedy, as I have, with but few exceptions, wrought up all the materials within my reach, unless I were injudiciously to encumber the volume with irrelevant matter.
“ The present volume, however, I consider rich in matter, particularly in relation to the doings of the General Conference, and to the enlargement of our work by means of our Missionary Society, and other auxiliary appliances. And I have endeavored to give such a detailed account of the origin, character, and progress of this society as will, if the history be continued on the same plan, supersede the necessity of a separate history of that institution. Indeed, this society, together with the tract, Sunday school, and education causes, is so interwoven in our general plan of operations, that a history of our Church would be quite imperfect which did not embrace a narrative of these things.
" It being desirable to have the alphabetical list of preachers un. broken, it has been thought advisable to transfer that list from the second to the third volume; and the more so as that volume is sufficiently large without it, containing, as it does, upward of four hun.
“ In adverting to this list I consider it proper to mention the following facts, as furnishing good reasons for an apology for any errors which have been or may be detected, in the spelling of names, dates, or otherwise,
“1. In regard to the orthography of proper names I have found in. superable difficulties. The same name I have in frequent instances found differently spelled in the printed Minutes even for the same year -one way perhaps when admitted on trial, and another in the sta. tions—and then the next year differently from either of the two. In this confusion who is to decide which is right? It is true that some names, particularly those found in the sacred Scriptures--though these are by no means uniformly alike in their orthography in the Old and New Testaments, owing to the different usages of the Hebrew and Greek languages—and in the Greek and Latin classics, have a fixed orthography; but in most instances proper names are spelled as whim or fancy would dictate, some families, even of their own accord, either dropping or adding a letter or letters. And this confusion and difficulty exist in a peculiar degree in the United States, made up, as the citizens are, from almost every nation under heaven, and therefore having names, the orthography of which is peculiar to the several nations from which they came, or to the ancestors from whom they have descended. If any one can unravel this tangled skain, and teach us how to spell every proper name correctly, he will perform a task for which I confess myself inadequate. Or if any one will take the Minutes of our conferences and decide which of the varying orthographies of some names is the correct one, he shall receive my thanks, and will merit the thanks of all concerned. But as the secretaries of the annual conferences, editors, and printers were not able to control this perplexing business at the times the Minutes were prepared and printed, I hope to be pardoned if I should fail to make every thing of this sort entirely accurate.
“ 2. But this is by no means the most serious difficulty which I have had to encounter. In several instances I have found preachers returned located, and in three instances expelled,* who were never admitted into full connection. Such names I have generally omitted altogether, as I have taken no account of mere probationers in the traveling ministry.
“3. In numerous instances I have found that certain preachers were located, readmitted, and then located again, twice, thrice, and even four times. In such cases I have, as far as I could ascertain the fact, fixed the date of their location the last time mentioned, with a view to give them credit for at least all the years they may have traveled. On this account, those who may compare the list in this volumewhich has been thoroughly revised—with the one appended to the second, will find that several who were recorded as located before, or in the year 1816, are herein returned as having located at a later date, because they re-entered the traveling ministry, continued for a shorter or longer time, and then located again.
“4. In a few instances persons have been expelled by an annual conference, and afterward, on an appeal, restored by the General Con. ference. This may have led to some errors in these returns, though I trust but few.
“5. In some instances preachers were continued on trial for more than two years; and not adverting to that fact while preparing the list for the former volume, and taking their names as they stand recorded in answer to the question, Who are admitted into full connection ?' such were returned as received a year later than was actually the case. So far as this fact has been ascertained, the correction has been made in the present list.
“6. In many cases it has been difficult to ascertain the precise year in which a preacher died. In the body of the History I have, in recording deaths, generally followed the order of the Minutes, and recorded them as having died in the course of the preceding year; but in the alphabetical list I have endeavored to ascertain the year in which each preacher died. As, however, some of the records are indefinite in this particular, I have been guide by the most probable conjecture. There are, however, I believe, but few cases of this character.
“When the reader duly considers these perplexing discrepances and defects, he will be prepared to make some allowance for the unavoidable errors which grow out of them; and the more so, when he considers that this History has been written by a hand equally fallible as those which prepared the authorized records.
“Some unintentional omissions of names in the former volume are supplied in this; and if others should be detected, as doubtless they will be, the correction will be made with the more pleasure, because it
*“In one instance I found a preacher returned located and expelled in the same year! In another, located in one year and expelled the next.”