Weights of Litho Stones

G. Ruse and C. Straker. Printing and its Accessories. London: S. Straker & Son., 1860. Robertson Davies Library, Massey College. University of Toronto.

This is a pretty handy chart if you are considering purchasing a litho stone, or even picking one up to move around.  For example, a 16 x 12 inch stone weights 43 pounds per inch of thickness. This was pasted onto the inner face of the front board of Printing and its Accessories from Massy College.  Another reminder that many printed books contain unique, owner added paratextual information.

Confusing Book Conservators

It is confusing for the public to understand the differences between Bookbinder, Book Restorer and Book Conservator. Book Conservationist is never used, except by the uninitiated.  Below are how some of these terms are commonly used — more precisely, how I wish the terms were commonly used — in the United States.

Bookbinder: Someone who makes books consisting of partially prepared materials from other crafts, rebinds and sometimes repairs older books.

Book Restorer: Someone who makes old books look an imagined “new”.

Book Conservator: Someone who preserves the historic, intrinsic, artistic and artifactual value of books through preventive measures and physical intervention.

The New York Public Library has muddied the waters even further, with a program called New York Public Library Conservators.  In this case, the term “Conservator” means someone who supports or maintains NYPL financially. This adds confusion, and creates the need for more explanation. But if you have an extra $15,000.00 – $24,999.00, you can call yourself a New York Public Library Carnegie Conservator, which sounds like an endowed professional position.

Application form for New York Public Library Conservators Program, 2015.

Further resources if you want to read more of my rants discussing these terms:



http://www.bookbindersmuseum.org/the-future-of-book-restoration/  The second comment.





A Bookbinder’s Valentine


Library Company of Philadelphia. ca. 1840-1880?

[New York] : H. De Marsan, Publisher of songs, 54 Chatham Street, N.Y


“My life’s a waste, I’m sick of paste; And printers, books and presses

Might quickly go to Jericho [1], Should Fortune smile, and bless tis I..

-Yes, but who’s the fool that would be thy Valentine?” [2]


1. Jericho is a place of banishment, retirement, or drunkenness according to Partridge’s Dictionary of Slang.

2. As she says this line, there is an interesting workplace reversal going on: the male binder (husband?) is at the sewing frame, typically the woman’s job, and she is tooling, typically done by men. Is he wearing a kings crown or a jesters hat?