Composing stick, 1740-1760
Photo by Peter Harholdt, 2004
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Photo by Peter Harholdt, 2004

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Iron and wood; L. 8 1/4 in. (21.0 cm), W. 2 in. (5.1 cm), H. 5/8 in. (1.5 cm)
Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia, The Historical Society of Pennsylvania Collection (Philadelphia, Pa.), HSP.C-1-8
The composing stick is an essential tool for setting type by hand. The printer adjusts the stick to the width of the lines of type to be set, then puts the metal type in upside down, letter-by-letter and line-by-line. As several lines of type are completed, they are transferred onto a galley and held until the page of type is complete.
Included in BF300 Exhibit. Terms of Use Credits