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A Study On Baskerville Essay

982 words - 4 pages

John Baskerville, an English businessman, was born in Wolverley, Worcestershire on January 28, 1706. When he was growing up, he had admired the concept of letters being created. With his passion for letters, in 1723, he became a skilled stonecutter for tombstones, and a writing teacher. By 1726, he moved to Birmingham, England, and became a master writing teacher. In 1737, he opened a school in the Birmingham Bull Ring Centre. Baskerville was brilliant in picking the Bull Ring Centre as the location because it is Birmingham’s historic market place, which brought its reputation as “The City of a Thousand Trades.”1 This helped him continue with his teaching in bookkeeping and continue his work ...view middle of the document...

Instead, with his printing experiments, he took the liberty to find the resources to bring perfection to book design and production. His experimentations included in the making of paper, manufacture of opaque black ink, and designing a new type.
First, Baskerville’s experiments helped him invent a nice, opaque ink, which the black has a nice shine to it. This invention was the result of a trial and error; the ink was composed of boiled linseed oil or amber resin, and lampblack. He also experimented with paper to create a better printing surface. Development from laid paper to hot-pressed wove paper, which improves the quality and elegance in books. The wove paper was manufactured by a mold that had a finer screen made of wires (like a cloth), which doesn’t create a texture on the paper. For the paper not to roughen in texture when it’s moist, Baskerville hot pressed the paper after the ink is placed on, which creates a nice, smooth and refined surface. He made modifications on the presses by using heated copper cylinders. Seeing what the potential of print and press, Baskerville “…used his process to develop a steady stationery business through booksellers.”3
In 1750, a mother named Mrs. Sarah Eaves, moved in with Baskerville with her two daughters and a son. She was abandoned by her husband, Richard Eaves, and had no money for support. Baskerville found interest in Mrs. Eaves, and let her be his housekeeper. After the death of Mr. Eaves was known, Baskerville married Mrs. Eaves in June 1764. Mrs. Eaves had helped Baskerville in his process with typesetting and printing.
During 1722, a young man named William Caslon I had designed the first original typeface – Caslon Old Style with italic. Though the years, the English print was constantly using Caslon, because of its legibility and comfort to the reader’s eye. However, in 1757, Baskerville provides a new type, an improvement to Caslon’s type. Baskerville provides a distinct...

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