The Student featured a trivia column titled “Our Museum,” filled with bits and pieces about history and the world, including these two pieces on sizes of paper for printing of books.
Two pieces about books (from The Student, February 1854; pp. 122-123)

[Note: These two brief pieces appeared as part of “Our Museum,” a regular column of trivia pieces.]

NAMES OF SIZES OF PRINTING PAPERS.—Formerly such names as Flatcap, Demy, Medium, Royal, Super-royal, Elephant, Double Medium, Mammoth, were used to designate regular sizes of printing-paper; but at present such paper is desig[n]ated chiefly by inches, as 23 by 28, etc. Only a few of these names are now much used to denote a standard or particular size of paper; these are, Flatcap, 14 by 17 inches; Medium, 19 by 24 inches; and Double Medium, 24 by 38 inches. Printing-paper is bought and sold by the pound, the price varying according to quality, from ten cents to sixteen cents, for the paper commonly used for such purposes.

SIZES OF BOOKS.—When the sheet of paper of which a book is made is folded into two leaves the book is called a folio; when folded into four leaves it is called quarto; when folded into eight leaves, a duodecimo, or 12mo; when folded into sixteen leaves, a 16mo; when folded into eighteen leaves, 18mo, etc.

FORM is a term used by printers to denote the pages that are placed on the press to be printed at the same time. When the book is a folio, or each sheet contains four pages, only two pages are printed in one form; when the book is quarto, four pages make a form; when an octavo, sixteen pages make a form; when a 12mo, twenty-four pages compose each form; when an 18mo, thirty-six pages are printed in a form.

How to ascertain the quantity of paper required to print a thousand copies of any book

First, ascertain the size of the book, that you may know how many pages will be printed in a form, as previously described.

Then divide the whole number of pages in the book by the number of pages to be printed in a form, and the quotient will be the number of forms in the book.

Since twenty-two quires of paper will make a thousand copies of any form, multiplying twenty-two by the number of forms in a given

p. 123

book will show the number of quires of paper necessary to print a thousand copies of the book.

This last product divided by twenty, the number of quires in a ream, will give the number of reams required.

Copyright 1999-2017, Pat Pflieger
To “Nineteenth-Century American Children & What They Read
Some of the children | Some of their books | Some of their magazines
To “Voices from 19th-Century America
Some works for adults, 1800-1872
To Titles at this site | Subjects at this site | Works by date | Map of the site

Talk to me.