The Ancient & Mysterious ART of Printing
by J. ED
Lives of great men all remind us,
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
PRINTING, of all the graphic arts, is the one least appreciated. Efficient ways of getting something into print have cheapened the overall product, but it is still true, ‘a thing of beauty is a joy forever’ and the early printers have yet to be surpassed for beautiful printing. A dedicated amateur has an opportunity to create a lasting ‘joy’ – but not with his mimeograph machine. It requires a printing press, along with a few accessories, among which are: the sincere desire to create; a smattering of talent; and a large amount of perseverance. The size of the press and the kind of types are of relatively less importance than the desire.
This must be genuine, and with patience, noteworthy results can be achieved – results that will leave your footprints in the sands of aj time. Some of the best remembered amateur journalists possessed only modest equipment and nostalgia arises over anything ancient. Yet allowing this, some of the early amateur papers have real beauty and substance.
We have observed that the most highly prized journals are printed. Consequently, these are the ones that are kept. In common with those around them, amateur journalists have been caught up in the whirlwind of speed, and tho’ they gyrate furiously about, they aren’t getting anywhere. Most of their efforts are zeroed-in on, and headed at super-sonic speed for, the nearest wastebasket.
If what you have to say is worth saying at all, it’s worth preserving to be said again and again, down thru the years. A printed journal, by all odds, holds most promise of attaining this. Today’s mania for quantity has all but eradicated quality in aj. We’ve apparently forgotten that the most precious commodities seldom are those available in abundance. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address outshines the Congressional Record of the same year. In my aj treasure chest, printed papers outnumber the faded, illegible mimeos, far and away.
Where will your paper be fifty years from now? It can be a valued keepsake, carefully preserved and brought forth with pride. And who knows? – perhaps you will become one of the aj immortals!
by J. Ed Newman
EIGHTY YEARS AGO, two young Boston Globe reporters, Robert Luce and William A. Hills, published the first issue of The Writer. Their announced aims for the new magazine among others, were: to be helpful, interesting and instructive to all literary workers; to aid young writers in reaching the public by advising them how to make their copy salable; to be of value to writers of sermons, lectures, letters, and to students and lovers of literature. In commemorating the anniversary, A. S. Burack the present editor said, “Looking back over The Writer’s 80-year record of continuous publication – for more than thirty of which I have served as editor and publisher – I find that these basic aims are still being followed.”
I heartily recommend The Writer to all members of the amateur press associations. Even if you never expect to write professionally, your work as an amateur will improve by study of the articles that appear monthly. You’ll find the authors of best sellers & others well known in literature, telling how they write. The enjoyment of your hobby will increase as you begin to use tips from experts on how to better express your ideas. If you want to sell your articles, you’ll find information on what is in demand, and where to submit material. A three month trial subscription costs $1.00. The address: The Writer, 8 Arlington Street, Boston, Mass. 02116. It could well be the most important dollar in your life.
News & Views
THE AMATEUR JOURNALISTS of bygone days were of a hearty breed, taking delight in bashing each others brains out – with words. Being new to aj didn’t deter young Chas. Heins from jumping in with both feet, fists a-flying. He later became president of NAPA and was active in political squabbles. At this writing, he is still alive, and recalls some early antics in the National Amateur for March, 1967. Archaic and hazy, it yet is rewarding to the studious, revealing an aj far removed from ours of today. Heins printed the N.A. himself when he was Official Editor in 1909.
As evident, our main interest is printing – we’ll leave politicking to others. In our book, there is no lovelier sight in graphics than Goudy, Garamond, and Gill properly assimilated into paper by letterpress. While for its speed we’ll tolerate the mimeograph, nevertheless it is sacrilege to mention mimeo and printing in the same breath. Mimeo has its place, but that place is ephemeral.
An Amateur Journal by J. Ed Newman
Roanoke, Virginia 24014
1000 copies of this issue hand-set in Garamont types for distribution to The National, American & United of America, and the British Amateur Press Assns. & Amalgamated Ptrs. Assn.