Setting Type
Original Author: Unknown
Created: Late twentieth or early twenty-first century
Medium: Hand-set type
Publisher: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Setting Type

A reeneactor at Colonial Williamsburg finishes hand-setting type for a page of the Virginia Gazette newspaper. This work was done by a compositior—the person who gathered individual letters and placed them in a iron rule known as a "composing stick," to forms words and sentences. Since the printing process reversed the image, the type would be set backwards. After lines of type were finished, the compositor would set them in wooden cases called galleys. Galley pages of type would then be locked in an iron frame and secured to the bed of the printing press.