Page:The Art of Bookbinding, Zaehnsdorf, 1890.djvu/190

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150
BOOKBINDING.

small lying or other press was used. The block, previously heated, was placed on the book, and the screw or screws turned to get a sufficient pressure. It often happened that the pressure was either too much or too little: the block either by the one accident sank into the leather too deeply, or by the other the gold failed to adhere, and it required a good workman to work a block properly.

The first press to be noticed is a Balancier, having a moveable bed, a heating box, heated by means of red-hot irons, two side pillars to guide the box in a true line, and attached to it a screw connected at the top with a bar or arm, having at each extremity an iron ball. The block, having been fixed to a plate at the bottom of the heated box, the side of the book was laid down on the bed, and by swinging the arm round the block descended upon the book. The arm was then swung back, and the next book put into place. It will be seen that this incurred a great loss of time.

The next improvement consisted in having a press that only moved a quarter circle, with almost instantaneous action; and another improvement connected with the bed was, that by means of screws and gauges, when the block was once set, a boy or an inexperienced hand might with ease finish off hundreds of copies, all with equal pressure. By referring to the woodcut opposite, the press and its action will be seen and understood. The box may be heated with gas, and kept at a constant and regulated temperature the whole time of working. It can be adjusted to any amount of pressure, as it is regulated by the bed underneath.

The next step in progress was the introduction of printing in different colours upon the cloth, and intermixing them with gold. Messrs. Hopkinson and Cope's machines may be mentioned. They are made to be driven by steam, and will print and emboss from 500 to 600 covers per