The Printers' Guide;

New-York: Printed and Published by C.S. van Winkle.. 1818.

First edition. 12mo in 6s. 163x100mm. pp. xii, 13-229, [55]. Folding "Scale for Calculating Work". The last, unpaginated fifty-five pages are "A Specimen of Printing Types from the Foundry of E.White, No 11 Thames-Street, New-York" and "A Specimen of Printing Types cast at D.& G. Bruce's Foundry, Chamber Street, New-York". Recently bound in mottled tan calf, single fillet gilt border, spine with dark brown morocco label, lettered in gilt, modern endpapers. Some browning and foxing, a small marginal tear to p77 (not affecting the text) and a tiny hole to the title page but overall a very good copy of an important and rare book, the last copy appearing at auction in 1925.
The significance of van Winkle's book lies in its being the first printer's manual written by an American printer, for American printers and published in the United States. Whilst he admits his debt to Caleb Stower's Printer's Grammar, van Winkle explains that he was motivated to write his book by the high cost of Stower's book. He wanted to produce a useful, affordable guide for the working printer. He certainly managed to produce a detailed guide. There are sections on the importance of punctuation, the printing of Greek and Hebrew, mathematical, algebraical and geometrical signs, rubbing out ink, and printing colours with black. There is a useful section of technical terms and several pages listing the prices of printing "agreed upon by the master printers of the city of New York at a meeting held the 18th of September 1815" with prices given for master printers and journeymen. Van Winkle also describes American presses and provides specimens from New York typefounders. Indeed, "American printing may be said to have come of age with the publication of Van Winkle". Rollo Silver, The American Printer, 1797-1825.

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