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Forme - Newspaper, Handset, Monotype, 1850-1900, Assembled 2008 Object Reg. No: HT 14615

This is a printing forme handset with monotype, using 19th century type and typesetting items.
The type has been set up to reproduce the first page and other sections of the first printed edition of the Melbourne Advertiser, published in 1838. The complete forme and content was assembled for the Fawkner Press display in the Melbourne exhibition, 2008.

The empty frame is known as the chase. The chase filled with a job for printing is known as the forme.

The forme, quoins and spacers were originally used in printing the Dimboola Banner. The monotype was already in the Museum collection, and was acquired from the Victorian Government Printing Office.
The complete forme and content was assembled for the Fawkner Press display in the Melbourne exhibition, 2008.

The first page is as the original but the second page is not complete. Printing historian Peter Marsh has set the type, which includes an acknowledgment of his own role. Fawkner used foundry type; monotype was not available then. Foundry type is cast differently from monotype. Only the title heading is in foundry type.

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 forme with newspaper handset in monotype consists of
a. one forme
b. 4 pairs large quoins
c. 8 pairs small quoins
d. 24 different sized wooden and metal spacers
e. monotype and foundry type
The forme is a rectangular frame made of metal.
Each pair of quoins consist of two pieces of serrated metal that can be progressively tightened
Spacers are strips of different length and thickness, some made of metal and others of wood.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mr Dale Conway - Dimboola Historical Society, 2007
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 1.00 cm (Height), 53.00 cm (Width), 35.50 cm (Length)
Dimension Comment: Base: 45.00 L x 58.50 W x 1.60 H.

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: Melbourne Advertiser/(and other text)
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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