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After cutting and release, the book springs back to its former round, leaving the front concave. In the most particular class of work, the boards are laced to the book before it is cut by the plow.
The ends of the cords to which the signatures are sewed, and which are allowed to project an inch or two, are securely laced to the boards forming the cover, and the ends glued down on the inside of the cover. As the name implies, the material used for covers formerly was wood, but is now a thick pasteboard rolled very hard. The book is now ready for gilding, marbling, or otherwise coloring the edges. Marbling is a separate trade, requiring peculiar skill and adroitness, but in large establishments is combined with B. Prepared colors are thrown into a shallow trough containing a preparation of gum tragacanth and other substances boiled in water, on which the colors float and spread, and are by skillful manipulation made to assume the desired appearance. The edges of the book are dipped into the liquid, and the colors adhere. After the edges are thoroughly dry, they are burnished.
Gilding is done by laying thin sheets of gold-leaf on the edges of the book, which have first been scraped very smooth and covered with a preparation of white of egg, and which, when dry, are thoroughly burnished.
The headbands, which are next attached, are purely ornamental, and serve to give a finished look to the head and tail of the volume. They consist of pieces of parchment
worked over with colored silk by a process that partly fastens them to the back. The back is then lined with strong paper glued on, the amount of stiffening varying with the size of the book and style of binding. Most books are now made with open or loop backs, a paper loop being pasted to the back of the book, and to this false bands are glued. The leather being cut a little larger than the book, is dampened, then covered with paste and drawn smoothly over and turned in, and the covers pasted down to the colored linings of the book.
Finishing. In the process of finishing there is room for display of much artistic taste. The ornamentation and lettering of fine bindings all are done by hand, the workman employing a great many tools and ornaments, which he first heats and then presses on the gold-leaf, which has previously been laid on the leather over a coating of white of egg. Ornamentation without gold is called 'blind tooling,' and is produced by rubbing or stamping the hot tool on the dampened leather. Though there are no books bound now that have such a wealth of ornamentation and so many days of careful labor given to the finishing as was common in Grolier's time, there are many rich and tasteful bindings produced and many novel effects by the use of inlaid colored leathers, incised leather, etc.
EDITION BINDING.-In describing the methods of binding used on probably nine-tenths of all books bound at the present time, it will be necessary only to indicate the points in which the processes vary from extra work.
The chief difference is in the use of machinery in place of hand work. Folding machines are of many varieties and great complexity, and machines are made that will fold at one operation two signatures of 32 pages each, folding a sheet containing 64 pages of The Columbian Cyclopedia in two signatures at the rate of 3,000 per hour. The most common form is shown in Fig. 1, which will fold from 8,000 to 12,000 signatures per day, according to the expertness of the operator, while 4,000 a day by hand can be done by only the most expert folders.
Gathering Machines.-Instead of taking up the signatures as the gatherer passes along in front of a long table, there are now various devices by which the table containing the folded signatures is made to travel in front of the gatherer. The signatures are still taken off by hand, but the economy lies in the fact that a dozen girls can work in the space formerly occupied by one, and do the work more rapidly.
Smashing Machines.-A variety of machines and presses are used to press the books before sewing, instead of hammering as of old. The most common form is shown in Fig. 4, the same machine being used as a smasher or as an embosser and inker.
Sewing Machines.-There are two principal varieties of sewing machines for book work: one stitches the signature through the centre to a piece of crash with a wire staple, and the other sews through the signature with thread. The latter is now much more largely used, and
is shown by Fig. 2. The capacity of the machine depends on the operator, but a good hand will sew 10,000 to 18,000 signatures a day, as against 3,000 to 4,000 a day for the most expert hand sewers.
Rounding is still done by hand in nearly all binderies, and the backing done by a machine which holds the book in a vice and passes a roller over the back, rolling out the edges to make the ledge for the cover. A machine has been invented, however, which performs both therounding and backing at one operation.
Trimming is done by a machine (Fig. 3) which holds the books under a clamp, and presents the ends and front to a knife which cuts them by a downward and lateral motion.
Case Making.-In edition work the covers, called cases, are prepared and finished separate from the volume that they are to cover. A piece of cloth, cut somewhat larger than necessary to cover the entire book, is covered with glue on the inside. Pieces of millboard, previously cut to proper size by an ingenious machine having rotary knives, are laid on, and the cloth turned over, the proper distance between the two boards being maintained by a steel gauge. The lettering or design that is to be stamped on the cover is cut in brass or steel, and after the portion of the cover that is to show a gold lettering or ornament has been covered with gold-leaf, the stamp, which is fastened to the head of the embossing press, is heated by steam or gas, and pressed on the gold. All the gold not touched by the stamp readily brushes off, and is carefully saved and
melted down; even the rubbers and cloths used in the operation are after a time burned to extract the gold they have absorbed. If ink is to be used, the same embossing press is used (see Fig. 4), but inking rollers pass over the face of the stamp, and the powerful stroke of the press not only inks the cloth, but crushes the grain and gives the smooth, glossy surface, though in good work it is necessary first to emboss the design with a hot stamp.
Fig. 4. Inking and Embossing Press. Also used as a
Casing In.-The book and the cover, having been prepared separately. now come together. The outside of the book being covered with paste and placed in the cover, the completed volume is placed in a standing press between boards with brass edges which press into grooves between the cover and the ledge on the back, giving the grooved appearance common to most cloth books, though they are often pressed in plain boards, in which case the boards of the cover are brought close to the back so as to leave no groove in the cloth. The books are left in the press till thoroughly dry, when they are ready for the bookseller.
PAMPHLET-BINDING.-The immense quantities of papercovered books and magazines produced in every large publishing centre give rise to separate bindings for this class of work, where the folding and other work is done with even greater rapidity than in book work. Most of this is stitched by a machine which drives a wire staple through the side of the magazine near the back, which makes the strongest of all bindings, but on account of the