These producers were beset by competition from France and Italy. The mills on the continent had better equipment and more skilled workers, and they could therefore produce higher-quality paper at a lower cost, and import it into England. At the same time, french papermakers aggressively imported linen and other rags from England for their papermaking industry. To early English papermakers faced with this competition, it was important to assert that they could make quality white paper to meet the demands of their own countrys growing print industry. In 1690 the company of White papermakers attained a patent giving it sole rights to make writing and printing paper in England for 14 years. This patent was contested by established English papermakers who were not in the company, and who asserted their own ability to produce quality white paper. Evidence indicates that the terms of the patent were not strictly enforced: imports continued and paper mills outside of the company continued to make white paper.
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6, workers poured the pulp into a vat, where it was kept lukewarm and agitated with a pole. 7, from the pulp, the vatman formed a sheet of paper by inserting a wire-meshed mould of the required size and giving it a series of shakes, so drawing off the water and causing the fibres of the pulp to intertwine and form a matted. 8, richard Hills calls this a special printers shake which would send a ripple of stuff across the mould to interlock the fibres and close the sheet. Another worker carefully pulled the sheets from the wire mould and stacked them in a quire of 144 sheets, each sheet interleaved with a layer of woolen felt to prevent them from sticking together. Workers put the quire on a screw-lever press and squeezed the water out of it, then separated the sheets and hung them on lines to dry. The paper manufacturing process was relatively simple, but the work was difficult and unpleasant. Women and children most likely did the preparatory work—the sorting, washing, and fermenting of rags and other used materials, and this would obviously have been ginger a dirty and smelly business. Some mills in England were closed in 1636 because the dirty rags allegedly were spreading the plague. Men probably performed the work at the vats, and this portion of the process would also have been difficult due to the heat and smell of the cooking material and the repetitive motions required to stir the stuff, pull it from the vat, and separate. As noted above, shorter and Hill, in their histories of English papermaking, emphasize a distinction between white and brown paper—the white, linen-based paper used for print, the brown used for wrapping and other purposes. The ability to make white paper considered suitable for books was manifestly important to the earliest English papermakers.
White linen rags were used to manufacture the best paper, the white paper that was used for books. Alfred Shorter describes how coarser rags, netting, cordage, canvas, bagging, and other materials of flax and hemp were used in the manufacture of brown and other common papers (emphasis added). 4, brown papers were used, as today, for wrapping objects and for other non-print purposes. The rags and other raw materials were cut, sorted, washed, and then fermented. After fermentation, the material was poured into a trough, mixed with water, and pounded into pulp by a battery of iron-tipped wooden stamping hammers powered by the water mill. 5, the process of pounding and beating breaks down words the fibre walls and enables the vital hydrogen bonding to form between the fibres. It is this hydrogen bonding which gives paper most of its cohesion and tearing strength.
By the mid-fourteenth century paper was beginning to replace parchment everywhere parchment was made from sheep or goat skin, 2 and in continental Europe a sophisticated and extensive system of producing and distributing paper was thus in place before the introduction of the printing press. Inevitably, however, the main customer became. The printer, the newest arrival. The press was a huge consumer of paper, using 3 reams a day per press. Thus the development of papermaking centres favoured the development of printing centres. 3, this situation in continental Europe contrasts sharply with that in England, where the first paper mill was established only in 1490, years after Caxton set up his printing press in 1476. England was an importer of paper from the continent when its printing industry began, and the head start that Italy, france, and the other European countries had established in papermaking would adversely affect the papermaking industry in England until the end of the eighteenth century. Paper was manufactured in early modern Europe in water-driven mills, often converted from corn mills. The primary raw materials for papermaking were pure water and rags.
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Bleached white paper is a relatively modern invention and one which causes the paper to deteriorate much faster. The samples seen on these pages are photographed as close to the original color as possible. Except in some cases of poor storage in the past, most of the paper is probably very similar to the day it was made. The papermaking process is relatively simple but difficult to explain without the props of equipment or images. Papermaking; The history and Technique of an Ancient Craf t by dard Hunter as a good starting point for the student of hand made paper.
Resources culture printing papermaking sheet sizes, the cost of paper was an important consideration for producing printed texts, and the availability and cost of paper had a major impact on the printing of broadside ballads. Unlike the cost of composition (the process of arranging page layout and setting type the cost of paper could not be spread among each copy of a printed unit, be it book or broadside, because the same amount of paper was used for each unit. Indeed, paper could account for as much as half of a printers production costs. For printers supplying works for the less affluent, the cost of paper was critical for their ability to keep their products affordable. It is not surprising, then, that ballad printers tended to use cheaper paper. This essay provides historical background in the process of papermaking and the papers used for broadside ballads. The manufacture of paper began in Italy in the thirteenth century and spread to France adidas and other countries on the continent over the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
European paper probably began in Spain about 1150, possibly using some equipment from China. Here paper fiber came from old garments, discarded as rags, pulverized into a mass called "stuff". The paper fiber is mixed with water and then the sheet is formed using a mould or porous surface, generally woven wire or bamboo that holds the paper fiber but allows the water to drain through. Usually there is a frame around the mould, sometimes called a deckle that restrains the paper fiber from leaking outward from the mould. The density of the paper fiber is less where the larger chain lines and the smaller laid lines appear on the mould. The finished piece of paper will show the shadow of these lines because the paper is slightly thinner there.
Looking at the paper used in the 42-Line gutenberg Bible we find about 28 laid lines to an inch, a fairly tight weave. Papermakers wanted to identify their paper so they began to use watermarks-bits of wire bent into often elaborate shapes that were sewn to the mould. Again the paper is thinner where the watermark appears and it is visible with light shining through the paper. Because the process of making paper by hand required no chemicals or detrimental processes, handmade rag paper lasts hundreds, possibly thousands of years. Our perception that paper is fragile and short-lived is based on poorly made machine made paper of the 19th and 20th Centuries. Prior to the 19th Century all Western paper was handmade from rags. The color of paper is determined by the base color of the rags and ranges from light bone/beige to dark grey.
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Dard Hunter, the lab expert on the history of papermaking, puts the date of the invention of paper. 105, although he says this date is rather arbitrary since undoubtedly experiments went on for some time before success was achieved by Ts'ai lun, the person credited with the event. The identity of the actual fiber Ts'ai lun first used is unknown. Speculation is that he experimented with cloth, tree bark, hemp waste and fish nets. Ultimately Asian paper made by hand focused on the use of the inner bark of certain trees including the paper mulberry, gampi and mitsumata. Papermaking was in full swing. Fine paper is still made by hand from these materials.
a museum. Information on the technique of printing can be found on several websites, for instance a resource on type making has been made for the huntington Library. You will also find useful information at the site of the. Gutenberg Museum in mainz, and the British Library's own web resource. On the history of papermaking, especially in England, see the. British Association of Paper Historians. The museum in the old paper mill in Basel has a short virtual tour, as does the. Italian paper museum at Fabriano, which has some information on the important early Italian paper making.
The works of geoffrey chaucer, edited. Robinson (London: Oxford University Press, 1957). The digitisation of the resume British Library copies of the caxton Chaucers was undertaken by the humi project. A, cd-rom edition produced by the canterbury tales project with additional functionality is also available from Scholarly digital Editions. The caxton's Chaucer site is the outcome of one of a number of digitisation projects for early printed material held by the British Library. On Caxton, the mercers Company, the london guild of wholesale merchants to which Caxton belonged, is no longer a guild, but the mercers Company is still in existence, and several of the documents relating to caxton are still to be found in its archives. Portraits of some of the persons mentioned on the British Librarys Caxton web resource can be found on the web pages of the.
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On Chaucer, for a good introduction to Chaucer and. The canterbury tales see the excellent resource at, harvard Universitys website, which includes a version of the text in middle English with an interlinear translation into modern English. An extensive set of links to resources for studying Chaucer can be found at the. Electronic Canterbury tales website. There is a middle English text. The canterbury tales at the, university of Michigans Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse and also at a free literature private website called. Both provide the text which was originally made available online by the. Oxford Text Archive, and which is based on the bodleian Librarys copy.