Typographia, or The Printers' Instructor
John Johnson (1777-1848) worked for a private press at Lee Priory, Kent, which published limited editions of poetry, prose and pamphlets, but was not financially successful. Moving to London in 1824, Johnson produced this two-volume work on printing, which had become a popular topic in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The work was published in several formats, and contemporary reviewers noted Johnson's highly ornate typography and use of engravings more than the contents. Volume 2 is useful to modern students of printing, as it deals with the practical aspects of the print trade. It includes numerous specimens of type in different alphabets, and explanations of type casting and imposition. It also describes how to manage a print shop, as well as the different kinds of press, including recent inventions such as the Stanhope, Columbian and Albion, and ends with a brief account of steam presses and stereotype.