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Quoin Key - Typesetting, Large, Late 19th Century Object Reg. No: HT 14593

This key is used to lock large quoins into place when setting up type in a forme.

Setting type by hand is known as 'composing the type'.

The type is taken letter by letter and placed into a 'setting stick' -- a wood or metal tray held in one hand and the words are built into lines of type of a set width.

The lines are then put together to make a page inside a metal frame called a "chase". Spaces in amongst the page are filled with wooden or metal "furniture". The furniture is level with the surfaces of the type blocks so as not to pick up any ink. The spaces between the chase walls and the page are filled with expandable "quoins". Quoins, when tightened, lock all the type and furniture securely within the chase (now called a "forme").

The forme is placed on the press and printing commenced.
The key is made of metal and is T shaped.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mr Dale Conway - Dimboola Historical Society, 2007
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 2.50 cm (Height), 11.50 cm (Width), 7.50 cm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: printing, printing equipment, typesetting accessories
Themes this item is part of: How the Fawkner Press Worked, John Pascoe Fawkner, Businessman & Melbourne Pioneer (1792-1869), Letterpress Printing, Information & Communication Collection
On Display at: Melbourne Museum
Primary Classification: COMMUNICATIONS
Secondary Classification: Printing
Tertiary Classification: typesetting
Inscriptions: Text: HEMPL.
Assembler: Mr Peter Marsh, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 2007
References: http://sharlot.org/events/livinghistory/printing.html
accessed 9 October 2008

Melbourne Advertiser first printed edition (#10)

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