Melbourne Museum of Printing
Composing and Press Room Materials
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Composing Materials

Composing Materials

The many non-descript items needed in a composing room

Leads - lead spacing strips - used often to increase the line-to-line spacing of text - from which we get the term `leading' - which term has carried over into computerised typography.

Rules - lead (or brass, or wood) strips which are type-high and therefore print a straight line. More than one line may be printed from the one rule: a double, or multiple rule.

Fount Spacing - used between words (sometimes between letters of a word for `letter-spacing'), and to fill out the end of lines.

Quads (orignally quadrats) - like fount spacing, but thicker pieces. The `em quad' is a square spacing piece. An 8-pt em is 8 points wide.

Quotations are like quads but are used to fill out larger blank areas, often like building blocks. Measured in picas. Common sizes 6 x 6 down to 2 x 2. Of course 6 picas is 72 points and these would be used as 72 pt word spacing and quads with that size of type.

Furniture - not for sitting on - is/are strips of spacing material for filling out larger areas. Widths from 2 to 12 picas and lengths from 10 to 108 picas. Other sizes exist, of course. Made from a wide range of materials: wood, typemetal, duralumin, bakelite even steel and cast iron.

Reglets are strips of spacing material, usually of wood, similar to furniture but in widths of 6, 12 and 18 pt.. Fulfil the same role as leads/clumps, but lighter and have some `give'. .. more to come ..

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