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Printers Wind-Ups, Trots, etc.

Started by wysiwyg, July 25, 2023, 09:48:34 PM

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Printle: A Printing Word Game from Metal Type


Hi Dave

I'm wondering if you could have a subsection of printer wind-ups.

The victims were usually gullible apprentices.

Some that spring to mind were: Being told to go down to the foundry and ask for a sack of halftone dots, go to the machine room and ask for a long wait and running an errand for one of the journeymen to the bakers and ask for a printer's pie, being called over to view a galley of slugs and being invited to look for type lice, and getting a wet face for your troubles.

Halcyon days indeed.

Dave Hughes

That's a great idea @wysiwyg so here it is: Printers Wind-Ups, Trots, etc.

An offshoot from: Glossary of Printing Trade Terms - Vol. 2

There's details of a very elaborate wind-up in this story from the main site: E for Exasperation
Printle: Word Puzzle for Printers Play Now

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In the very early 1980's we sent an apprentice to the ink store for some 'tartan ink' as the next job on showed pictures of tartan seat covers on a mini metro.


Leading on from a wind-up . . . if you were mixing ink and the apprentice was nearby, you would stop mixing and hold your hand just above the ink.

After two or three goes you would tell him you were making sure the ink did not get too hot. You would then invite him to hold his hand over the ink to check the temperature himself.

When he did so, you would quickly grab his arm and force his hand into the ink!

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Printers' Tales - Over 30 stories from the pre-digital age. Buy now on Amazon/Apple Books

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