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Drawn from the papers presented by both practitioners and academics at a 2013 conference organized by the Baskerville Society, the book covers the arc of Baskerville's life and his activities from writing master to japanner to printer.
Scholars of typology, the history of books, and similar disciplines explore such aspects of his work and times as the topographies of a typographer: mapping John Baskerville since the 18th century, Baskerville as a japanner of tea trays and other household goods, Baskerville the writing master: calligraphy and type in the 17th and 18th centuries, a reappraisal of his Greek types, English printers and their use of Baskerville's type 1767-90, and the Cambridge cult of the Baskerville Press.
Living in Lower Tower Street, Birmingham in 1851 Patrick was a silk weaver whilst his son 16-year-old William was an oil-cloth japanner.
Circumstances later found him in Wolverhampton, where he became an apprentice japanner, painting the decoration on enamelled tea trays.
Only one representative was kept from each set of homographs, for example, "japanner", which may be given an upper-or lower-case J.
Within this group, additionally, some portion of working children may have been unaccounted for by the school census takers (again, difficult to estimate), since they labored for and were paid by their fathers rather than by an employer, as one japanner reported:
Initially Chaloner appears to have made a living by selling sex aids (I kid you not) and fake watches, and then as a quack doctor and japanner. But he had greater ambitions than this, and by 1680 he was in the counterfeiting business, gilding silver coins to make them look like guineas.
Swinney's Directory of Birmingham of 1800 identifies a large number of residents with Irish names in professions as diverse as a japanner and Daimler, dancing master and theatrical manager.
However, this country's professional japanners produced some stunning work that is now at least as highly valued as the finest quality oriental lacquer ware.
Other old trades that have bitten the dust include wax merchants, corn chandlers, watch and clock makers, Japanners who sold lacquer for furniture and snuffers who stocked metal cones for putting out candles.
Other shops included Japanners, which sold lacquer for furniture, snuffers, which sold conical metal items to put out candles, and wax merchants, both of which went out of business following the widespread introduction of electricity in the 20th century.
Ze waren volgens de Japanners niet alleen onverstaanbaar, maar ze stonken ook.
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