Making books is fun! (to watch)

this man is an author he writes stories he has just finished writing a story he thinks many people would like to read it so he must have the story made into a book let's see how the book is made first the story goes to the printing shop this workman is a typesetter he starts the job of preparing the story so it can be printed he types the story on this machine letter by letter everytime the typesetter touches a key a mold for a letter slides into this box every time the lever goes up melted metal pours over the letter molds inside the machine when the metal cools off it hardens and makes a line of words it takes many limes like this to make a page as the typesetter works on new lines a man takes the finished lines over to a long table here he arranges the lines for each page this page is to have a picture the picture takes up the space of many lines the composer then goes to the next page with a piece of wood the composer marks the end of each page when many pages like this are ready a workman takes them to another part of the printing shop then this workman takes the lines of type for many pages and fix them into a metal frame he must be careful enough to mix them up long and short pieces of metal keep the pages apart and fill out the edges this key locks the lines and pictures tightly in the frame he locks them on all sides then he evens all the lines so that none of them will stick up then all his locks still tighter so that the lines and pages won't come apart but the words and lines of type are of soft metal they would soon wear out in printing in this shop they are made into copper copper is hard let's watch how this is done this operator covers the lines and pages with a plate of Wax then it pushes it into the press down goes the press and now comes the wax plate with all the pictures and letters pressed into the soft wax next another worker dips the wax plate into a large tank which has copper in it the copper goes into all the places where the letters have pressed into the wax it forms a solid plate it has the same letters and same pictures as before but it is much stronger many books can be printed from copper plates now the plates are cut apart this sharp saw easily cuts through the hard copper each of these small plates has the words and pictures for just one page of the book next the plates go over to the printing press here this workman makes the plates ready for printing on this press that is why they call him the ready man this place where you see him now is called the press bed 64 pages fit on one bed the ready man fits every plate tightly to the bed in the right order there are two beds on this press one for each side of the paper both press beds of this printing press must be filled with plates before the printing can begin now one push of a button and the big press starts the paper travels around the drums rollers spread the ink evenly over the plates first one side of the paper is pressed to one set of plates then the other side of the paper to the other set sheet after sheet the printed pages begin to pile up at one end of the press this workman now examines the sheets to see if they are nicely and clearly printed now let's see what happens to these sheets after they're printed here in the bookbinding plant they first come to the folding machine each large printed sheet will be folded until it reaches the size of a single page the machine goes on folding and folding until all the printed sheets have been folded this man checks the folders to make sure that the pages follow each other in the right order then all the folders are taken to another part of the binary this part is called the gathering room these girls stack the folders in piles and put each pile into its proper bin they see to it that there are always folders in every bin this machine gathers the folders in the right order from the first page to the last page of the book one by one the machine gathers all the folders for one book at the end of this long machine the folders are coming out all the pages for the book here other girls take the assembled folders to other machines here a machine sews them together again each folder goes into the machine separately this machine sews the folders together with strong thread the sewing will keep the pages from coming apart after the books have been sewed they go on to the trimming shop this machine trims the pages to just the right size with three sharp knives first with one knife for the long side of the book then with two knives for the two short sides but the books are not yet finished they still need covers strong book covers are made from paper board first the paper board is cut just the right size next cloth from this roll is glued over the paper board this makes covers that are strong and good-looking at last the name of the book is stamped on the cover in shining gold letters now the covers are ready for the pages of the book to be put inside them one push and the book has a cover around it another push and the cover is glued tight here they go all finished and ready for shipping to all parts of the world the story has been made into a book for readers everywhere

48 thoughts on “Making books is fun! (to watch)

  1. This is really fascinating. It's probably easier to make books now, since we have machines, but it's probably just as costly in terms of resources needed (not the manpower/manual labor to pay the workers, since a lot of the steps most likely have robots/computers doing the more simpler things that men or women used to do to make a book).

  2. Looks like many mistakes could happen if one worker does not pay proper attention. And one small mistake can destroy an entire process.
    That's some serious work there :/. These men are heroes.

  3. My dad owned a small weekly newspaper in Oregon as I was growing up in the late 1940s and 1950s. I witnessed this, except for the copper process, taking place every day as my dad and an employee worked on the linotype (the machine which made the molded letters at the beginning of the film). My job around age 10 was to sweep the floors and then by age 12, I "killed" the newspaper by removing all the type or columns and ads which wouldn't be used again the following week. This metal was melted down and used again. Eventually around age 14, I began operating the folder and finally began running the large newspaper printing press called the "cylinder" press. My dad lived to see the beginning of the home computer and marveled at similar terminologies and the attached printer. He didn't quite understand the implications of the computer for the future, however. We've come a long way since Johannes Guttenberg in 1498. Isaac Asimov called the invention of the printing press and moveable type the third communication revolution – the first being when our ancestors began talking; the second being writing. We are in the midst of the fourth communication revolution: the electronic revolution beginning with the telegraph. Where will it go? What are the implications of the electronic communication? The implications of our ancestors using language and then writing were profound and still shake our culture even today.

  4. ğ̤̥̈ŏ̤̱̈ō̤̪̈gl͚̮e̤͓̤̮ d̤̺̃̈ȏ̈n̤̮̆̈'͆̈t͚̮ ñ̤̪̈e̤̱̤̺ȇ̈d̃̈̄̈ nŏ̤͓̈ s̤̪̑̈ā̤̻̈n̄̈i̤̺ti̤̰z̤̺̃̈a̤̪t̃̈ion͚̮̄̈ says:

    Wow. now imagine if a writer forgot to insert a paragraph :D. Just do the entire thing over 🙂

  5. they didn't cut the plates in straight lines. this is probably why many old books always have the text in an angle in pages.

  6. it was the fucking 30s or whatever. there was no such thing as safety. they used to sell fridges with mercury in them until they realised it was poisonous.

  7. It's amazing to me how automated the binding process was even in 1947. I handbind books and make letterpress cards and this all seems very sophisticated compared to my old-er fashioned work!

  8. these ten minutes of the video were a great break from my studying for the exams!! awesome video!!!

  9. Back then people didn't need to be babied into their work like now a days. Now a days, you need instructions even on how to put on your pants.

  10. They also didn't have cell phones in their face 24/7 and didn't have to hear it from people in other countries on youtube. lol

  11. I'm struck by the lack of safety equipment. Circular saw with no cover, guy messing with electrolytes with no goggles… and the one guy sticking his entire body IN a printing press. Don't hit the "START" button, unless you want a printing in red!

  12. Many lines of type for many pages: galleys
    Metal frame: chase
    Metal used to keep the pages apart: furniture
    This key: key and coin
    The form of wax used to make the copper plate was the basis for offset printing.
    Printing on both sides of the sheet in a single pass is called "perfecting".
    Folding until it reaches the size of a single page is creating a "signature"

  13. Aside from being very interesting (and fun!), I found this video very handy for teaching English: simple, but not too simple grammar, plenty of useful everyday phrases, all pronounced clearly and understandably. It's a great help for my students (and me).

  14. My grandfather came to New York from Europe and found work in a book bindery. I guess this was how he spent his workdays. Wow.

  15. Gee, to think people used to actually get up in the morning, go to work, and do something interesting and worth while. Instead of coddling these spoiled whiny dipshits with their ring tones, iPhones and Blackberries.

  16. This video makes me feel terrible… I work in a book bindery now, in 2011, that is less technological than the old factory in this video. I wish I had machines like that to do the work for me.

  17. and even after all that North American labour, people STILL paid like 10 cents for one of those back then.

    oh inflation…

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