Page:Cowie's Printer's pocket-book and manual.djvu/31

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The disputes which frequently arise in printing-offices upon trifling, as well as intricate, points, can only be settled by a reference to the general custom and usage of the trade. These misunderstandings, which annoy and retard business, often take place in companionships consisting of three or four compositors; it is therefore highly desirable that the generally received rules and regulations on this subject should be explicitly and clearly laid down for the future comfort of the compositor.

Taking Copy.

If printed copy, and the compositor is desired to follow page for page, each sheet, as it is given out, should be divided into as many parts as the companionship may consist of, and the choice of each part, if it materially varies, should be thrown for. During the absence of either of the companionship, if he be likely soon to return, some one should throw for him, on condition that he will be able to get through this fresh taking, with what remains of the last, so as not to impede the imposition of the sheet.

Another method may be adopted, viz. for each person to agree to receive regularly of the different takings a certain number of pages; but if this plan be followed, the bulk of the copy must not be subject to the inspection of the companionship, but kept by the overseer, and dealt out by him as it is wanted, or it will inevitably cause contention; for the compositor likely to be first out of copy, if he has free access to that which remains unfinished, will observe whether the next taking be fat or lean—if the latter, he will hold back and loiter away his time, in order to avoid it, and thus materially delay the work. On the other hand, if this taking appear to be advantageous, and there should happen to be two or three of the companionship out of copy at the