Making Books (Short Documentary on Book Manufacture in 1947) by Encyclopedia Britannica Films

A fantastic short documentary film about the making of books in the 1940’s. Produced by Encyclopedia Britannica Films.

Areas covered

  1. Typesetting (preparing the story to be printed.)
  2. Melting metal into moulds set by typesetter
  3. Arrangement of lines by ‘composer’
  4. Setting the melted word blocks into a metal frame
  5. Evening the lines of the text blocks so that none of them stick out
  6. Pressing wax onto the text blocks to get an imprint of the plate
  7. Dipping wax plate into melted copper so that a harder plate is formed ready for printing
  8. Cutting through the copper plates with a circular saw
  9. Arranging the plates on the printing press/press bed and secures. The guy who does this is called the ‘ready man’
  10. 64 pages fit on one bed
  11. The press machine then starts with paper travelling around the drums and rollers spread ink over plates. The plates are then presses against the paper
  12. A workman then examines the sheets
  13. The sheets are then passed to a folding machine in the binding department where the sheets are folded down to the size of one sheet
  14. The pages are checked to make sure all the ‘folders’ are in the correct order and that the page numbers follow each other correctly
  15. The folders are then passed to the ‘gathering room’ where the folders are gathered into piles and put into the correct bin.
  16. The folders are then gathered in order by a machine from the front to the last section of the book
  17. The assembled folders are then sewn together with strong thread by a machine
  18. After the books are sewn they are passed onto the trimming shop where the pages are trimmed to the correct size by sharp knives
  19. Strong book covers are next made from paper board.
  20. Paper board is cut to the correct size, then fabric is glued to the paper board to strengthen it and increase its aesthetic appeal
  21. The name of the book is next stamped on the book
  22. The covers are then glued to the pages of the book
  23. The book is now complete and ready to be shipped out.
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