For today’s lab you will set as much as possible of the following poem, which was widely reprinted in nineteenth-century newspapers. This version appeared in the *Winchester Home Journal on May 6, 1858.
A Printer’s Epitaph
Here lies a form, place no imposing stone
To mark the head, where weary it is lain,
Tis matter dead, its mission being done,
To be distributed to dust again.
The body is but the Type, at best, of man,
Whose impress is the spirit’s deathless page;
Worn out, the type is thrown to pi again,
The impression lives through an eternal age.
In your lab report this week, you could use this as a launching point for thinking about the materiality of print culture. How does recognizing text as composed—quite literally—of material letter sorts, spaces, and leading refigure our view of print culture? How does this form of textual production and labor relate to other modes we have studied? And how might it reshape our understanding of the artifacts produced through these media?