Showing posts with label History of the Trade. Show all posts
Showing posts with label History of the Trade. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

The Hard Life of a Pressbengel

Translation of "Der Pressbengel," from Der Buchbinderlehrling, vol, 13, nr, 11, 1940.
By Schlaghammer (beating hammer), pseudonym for Franz Weisse.
For more about Weisse, see also the bottom of his story about a bone folder.

A Pressbengel from my collection.

Once upon a time, there was Pressbengel that was very busy during the day, so busy that the Journeyman threw it into a corner with a groan from all the effort and left it there until the next morning. The Pressbengel sensed that the Journeyman felt it had become an outdated piece of bindery furniture, and that it was easier and more comfortable to use a tabletop iron press rather than the traditional hand press. Add to this that the Journeyman wanted to go to a party that night, and who knew if he would even be fit to work the next morning. The nature of his situation depressed the Pressbengel to no end, and it began to brood about its role in, and importance for the bindery.

Illustration from Adam, Lehrbücher der Buchbinderei:
Die einfachen handwerksmässigen Buchbinderarbeiten
ohne Zuhilfenahme von Maschinen

Didn’t the Journeymen, as well as an otherwise gentle young lady, break and glue it back together three times in their zeal to tightly back their books? Yes, they did! No one, whether apprentice or Meister gave the Pressbengel, and the pain they inflicted on it, a second thought. They all treated it pitifully, such as when the apprentices didn’t lubricate the wooden threads of the press with dry soap so that its job would be easier than on the rough, dry wood that wouldn’t allow the nut to turn. Then the louts would just bang on it with a hammer until it broke. The Meister was too cheap to buy a new one, choosing instead to just glue it back together until the next time. After flying across the shop, the Pressbengel finally had enough, and came up with a prank that he was going to play on the Journeyman.

Cover from one of the later editions of Ernst Collin's Buchbinderei für den Hausbedarf.

Early the next morning, after the Journeyman had finally collapsed into his bed after the night of debauchery and drinking, the Pressbengel came up to him and hit him, first in the gut, then the chest, and finally on the head, repeatedly. The Journeyman twisted and turned, but try as he may, he could not avoid the repeated blows to his brow. “I’ll teach you, you vile Journeyman, to abuse me! For ten years I’ve served you and the others, and it’s been 30 years since the Meister bought me. Millions of presses I’ve tightened for you! And, this is how you thank me?!? Just you wait! Payback is coming.

The Journeyman avoided the bindery for eight days on account of the horrible headache induced by his “dream.” His first glance was towards the corner that he had tossed the Pressbengel into in anger. The Pressbengel, however, did its duty in the Meister’s hands, squealing in delight at the sight of the pathetic looking Journeyman – “see there are still lots of tasks in bookbinding that handpresses are essential for! When in your hands, I, ‘Herr Pressbengel,’ help you tighten those screws. Me, ‘Herr Pressbengel to you!’ Your bindings would be junk if you didn’t have me! Hand bound books are supposed to be solid as a piece of wood, and without me they would be floppy and unsightly lumps. So, Herr Journeyman, won't you treat me better? If not, I’ll visit you again in the middle of the night, but this time along with someone who’ll beat some real sense into you, the beating hammer!"

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Book and Paper Arts for School Students, a tale of two Pralles

Willi Pralle, Papier- und Papparbeit. Schulzesche Verlagsbuchandlung, Oldenburg, 1938.

Given the date of publication and the torn-out title page in my copy, I'm going to assume that it contained information linking it to the National Socialist government... Per the OCLC record, it was published for the Gauwaltg. d. NS.-Lehrerbundes im Gau Weser-Ems (Administration of the NS Teacher's Federation in the Weser-Ems District) that was based in Oldenburg.

The book would have been used in the teaching of paper and book-related crafts to/by teachers working with the lower school grades.

Interestingly, a Heinrich Pralle taught this subject at the Staatliche Kunstgewerbeschule zu Hamburg where Franz Weisse and Ignatz Wiemeler also taught. The book Die staatliche Kunstgewerbeschule zu Hamburg (1913) shows examples of works created by Pralle's students starting page 383. Given the similarity in name and focus, were they father and son?

Workshop where teachers would have been taught these paper crafts and more at the
Staatliche Kunstgewerbeschule zu Hamburg ca. 1913.
Click to enlarge.
Paper crafts as taught by Heinrich Pralle at the
Staatliche Kunstgewerbeschule zu Hamburg ca. 1913.
Click to enlarge.

The purpose of this instruction (in German) was to get children used to working with their hands, something that privileged those in rural areas over the cities because the children were more likely to have direct contact with this kind of work. From Die staatliche Kunstgewerbeschule zu Hamburg, "The pupil's workshops should not train craftsmen, they should educate in the children of all professions in the right understanding, sharp vision, and aptitude. Manual dexterity is valuable if mind and body are to be cultivated."

Willi Pralle's book introduces the topic in the same manner with specific instructions for a number of excercises... A similar book is So fertige ich allerlei Buchbinderarbeiten (1911) by Richard Parthum.

The illustration depicts a class-sized tool cabinet for the making of paper crafts.

Schematic for a simple octavo stab-sewn notebook and loose documents.

Schematics for making round boxes with lids.

Tipped in paste paper swatches.

Tipped-in paste and marbled papers.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Bookbinding Supplies | Buchbinderei-Bedarf, 1928

Below the 1928 Braunwarth & Lüthke catalog that gives a wonderful sense of the all the expendable supplies (paper, cloth, leather), hand tools, and equipment that a bookbinder of that time would have had available to them. Schmedt in Hamburg acquired Braunwarth & Lüthke 1990[ish] to give them a branch in Munich.

While not all items are depicted, where they are they can be a great aid to understanding terminology in foreign language manuals, especially in tandem with a resource like the Multi-lingual Bookbinding/Conservation Dictionary, .

Braunwarth & Lüthke, München,
Braunwarth & Lüthke - Preis-Liste über Materialien, Werkzeuge, Beschläge,
Apparate und Maschinen für Buchbindereien und verwandte Branchen.1928.

Scanning all 138 pages with Fritz Otto's help.
No worries, the signatures were all loosely sew and the wrapper off, so no damage.

Complete tool sets for apprentices just starting out, and those more advanced.
Included were a bone folder, bookbinding knife, paring knife, scissors,
sewing needles, keys for securing raised cords in the sewing frame, a green linen apron.
The advanced included more of some of the tools and a divider.
Mk 14 and 17 respectively. (Page 42)

Everything needed to equip a small hand bindery.
Mk 1620 (Page 125)

View below or download here.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Syracuse Book Bindery

Something a bit closer to home from Syracuse's golden industrial past...

Thanks to a friend and colleague I got this great advertisement for the Syracuse Book Bindery of Jacob H. Miller. The ad is from 1867 and promotes services of all kinds in the "best manner, on short notice, and at low rates." I wonder how they managed it.

Syracuse Book Bindery of Jacob H. Miller, ca. 1867.

Good, cheap, or fast. You can really only have 2 of those.

I'm looking for a contemporary photo of the location at 23 & 24 Washington St, here in Syracuse, but nothing yet. This is what that location looks like now. While the current building is old, it in all likelihood looked more like the one below the Google Street View image.

Below a view of another bindery... from the 1850s, the site of the Jerry Rescue that was part  of Syracuse's abolitionist past. The location of this building is about 2 blocks away and more typical of the architecture of the time. The buildings name gives pause - perhaps an earlier location of our bindery?

The Jerry Rescue Building was located in Clinton Square
on the corner of Clinton Street and Water Street.
From the Syracuse Historic Walking Tour pages.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

A Fairy Tale for Bookbinding Apprentices

And now, another story about a "bone folder," this time a fairy tale that contains many autobiographical references to bookbinding training, the trade, and education as they might have been experienced in the first half of the 20th century...

The Wise Bone Folder – A fairy tale for bookbinding apprentices

By Schlaghammer [Franz Weiße*, 1878-1952].
Originally published as "Das kluge Falzbein" in Der Buchbinderlehrling, Vol 16, Nr 2, 1942 (12-14).
Translation by Peter D. Verheyen, 2/2019

Meister and apprentice (They started very young)
Vom Buchbinderlehrling zum Buchbindermeister: Eine Einführung in das Buchbinderhandwerk,
Berlin: Reichsinnungsverb. d. Buchbinderhandwerks. 1941.

Once upon a time, at the beginning of his apprenticeship, Franz was given a very common bone folder by his Meister. Franz didn’t think much of this bone folder. For a tool that was never to leave his hands when folding, it felt hard and unfamiliar. Over time, Franz became accustomed to the Bone Folder, and grew so attached to it that he didn’t ever want to lose it. This pleased the Bone Folder immensely, and they became close friends, conversing regularly. It was then that the Bone Folder began to realize how foolish Franz really was, and how much it could help him grow as a binder. Once Franz said to the Bone Folder, “what will become of me if don’t want to become a bookbinder, but rather a book seller? And then, what would I do with you my dear Bone Folder?” Upon this the Bone Folder answered, “don’t start talking nonsense, you will become a bookbinder!” Two years later, Franz asked a similar question. “What is to become of us? I mean, I can bind books now, but maybe I shouldn’t have become a bookbinder?” “Enough,” responded the Bone Folder, “you’re just at the beginning of your life in this wonderful profession of bookbinding! We will leave this place and move on to other cities and Meisters. It is then that you will discover what you really know, and what you still need to learn. Now!” … But, Franz still hesitated. “What do you know already about being a bookbinder?” the Bone Folder continued. “Get away from here, and I’m coming with you! I will take good care of you, and make sure that you will become a real, competent bookbinder. You will even become famous!” This made Franz break out in laughter, “what is that, a famous bookbinder…?

The bindery and book cover factory Hübel & Denck, 1895.
Weisse worked there in their extra-binding department.
Hübel & Denck also published the Monatsblätter für Bucheinbände und Handbindekunst (1924-28),
a monthly newsletter with articles by and for bibliophiles that Ernst Collin wrote for as well.
Each issue had its own distinctive typographical design and often included samples of materials

After completing their apprenticeship, Franz and the Bone Folder began their Journeyman years wandering from bindery to bindery throughout the land. Franz depended on the Bone Folder to help put food on the table, and that was just fine with the Bone Folder. Franz, however, liked heartier fare, so the Bone Folder had to work hard to earn its keep. In doing so, both came to the realization that one really needed to make beautiful bindings to put that fare on the table. They had already worked for three Meisters where they had the opportunity to work on so-called better bindings that they referred to as quarter-leather extra-bindings. But, from these alone one would not be able to “live in luxury” the Meister said. Next they went to a “factory,” a large trade bindery where only new books were bound. These were blank except for the words “My Diary” on the first leaf. This was nothing for them. There were also far too many people working in this factory, and way too much noise that came from the wire binding machines. At this, the Bone Folder suggested attending an arts & crafts school where bookbinding was taught to students who were working towards their Meister’s certificate, and where one could learn the finer points of the trade such as gold tooling and finishing. They would certainly be able to offer guidance on the best path to binding beautiful books. These schools existed in many cities like Berlin, Breslau (Now Wrocław), Hamburg, Munich, Weimar, … And so, Franz and the Bone Folder enrolled and completed their studies, knowing far more about making beautiful books than they did before, and they were proud of their work. Franz now wanted to use his Bone Folder on full-leather extra-bindings! But, life is often unfair, and they were unable to gain entry in binderies where they could apply what they had learned. Everywhere they went they were turned away with a laugh when they brought up their desire to work on these full-leather extra-bindings. Journeymen were never given those creative fine bindings to work on – that was something the Meister reserved for themselves. And, if there happened to be only one Meister in the shop, especially one who wasn’t up to snuff but still bragged about themselves, they might have kept their own journeyman who could complete that kind of work. But, a Meister like that was nowhere to be found. Eventually, in a “factory” for hymnals, they were able to see how the many books received their shiny gilt edges. They stayed there for a while, surreptitiously looking over their colleagues shoulders and working as hard as they could until there was nothing left to learn there. Even if the work was not what one was interested in, there were always things (even little things) to learn, and just as importantly, what not to do.

Schematic for an attaché case, something bookbinders made in leather goods factories.
From Der Buchbinderlehrling, Vol 11, Nr 6, 1937

Franz always kept the Bone Folder in top left pocket of his white lab coat. When it was not working, the Bone Folder had an ideal perch from which to observe what was happening around it, and to learn. This made it even wiser than it was already. Next, they came to a workshop that specialized in stamping and blocking, and where all they did was stamp gilt ribbons with the words “rest in peace” on both sides. This was very boring work, especially in the long term. Leaving there, they went to another town where the Meister was rude, Franz did nothing but marble, and the Bone Folder had nothing to do… That just wouldn’t do. Finally, they came to a Meister finisher who worked on leather goods such as portfolios, purses, and wallets. Franz worked like a dog in the finishing department there, becoming regarded as an artist among the skilled leather workers. Finally, satisfying work, and the Bone Folder got to mark the lines that France would gild. Both were very happy working there together, and Franz even thought he might want to become a leather goods “baron.” Even the Bone Folder became so excited at that prospect that it imagined itself in a frame hanging over Franz’s desk, admired by all of his friends.

Students in the trade and arts & crafts schools learning the making
of decorated papers (pastepaper and marbling)
From Heinrich Lüers,
Vom Buchbinderlehrling zum Buchbindermeister Eine Einführung in das Buchbinderhandwerk,
Berlin: Reichsinnungsverb. d. Buchbinderhandwerks. 1941.

However, things turned out very differently. Because the Bone Folder was there with Franz when he visited the art schools to learn drawing and study art, it realized that there was a much better future ahead for Franz than playing the leather goods “baron.” The thought of resting in a frame ultimately did not interest the Bone Folder, either. Work, that was what it was meant to do. They ended up in THE city of books, Leipzig where Franz was able to establish himself as a fine binder, and where they created many fine bindings of his own design together, just for the joy of it. Briefly, they even considered emigrating to England because they could find real bibliophiles there. The Bone Folder was able to talk Franz out of emigrating, telling him that he never liked the English anyway, and why would he want to be among them… “Well” said dear Bone Folder, “we’ll stay in Germany and do well here.”

Continuing professional development of apprentices and journeymen
happens in the trade and arts & crafts schools...
From Heinrich Lüers,
Vom Buchbinderlehrling zum Buchbindermeister Eine Einführung in das Buchbinderhandwerk,
Berlin: Reichsinnungsverb. d. Buchbinderhandwerks. 1941.

After a while, the two of them became restless again, and no one knows who put the bug in their ears – “Franz, you must become a teacher at one of these vocational schools!” “Yes” said the Bone Folder, “of course!” and Franz chuckled. “And…,” continued the Bone Folder, “you can even become a professor.” “A professor of bookbinding?” No said Franz, there is no such thing anywhere in the world.” But it did happen and Franz was appointed “professor” of bookbinding at one of the leading arts & crafts schools.

Workshop of the Staatl. Kunstgewerbeschule Hamburg where Weiße taught 1907-1942.
More at Kunstgewerbeschule Hamburg.

Many years passed for them there as they taught and fussed over each other, and the next generation of bookbinders. Everywhere, at each bench, and to each student, the Bone Folder dispensed wise words when it demonstrated a turn-in, a well-formed headcap, “if you don’t pay attention to how your professor did it, you will never make it out in the real world. You do want to become teachers some day, don’t you? Don’t make me laugh, you think you can call it done with a little bit of gold tooling? Anyone can learn how to do that if they have the tools, and you seem very pleased with yourselves, and how you use them.” The Bone Folder went on, “there’s so much more to it including how to maintain your tools in top condition and use them safely. The Meister knows all of you, and can make you the best that you can be. The lazy ones among you he will let fall behind... That’s why he is the teacher and Meister, and was appointed as professor!” Oh, this Bone Folder… What it had once prophesied had come to be. But, the Meister students thought Franz had them to thank for his position and honors. They were the best among the best! The foolish ones among them didn’t understand what was going on...”

Franz Weisse, Ernst Klette (publisher), Otto Dorfner, Hugo Wagner
The jury for the annual Buchbinderlehrling binding competition for apprentices
From Der Buchbinderlehrling, Vol 12, Nr 5,1938.

Again, years went by teaching and binding, giving lectures about art and technical nuances, all things that go along with being a professor in one’s métier. On the side, Franz and the Bone Folder created more than two-hundred fine bindings together, each unique, valuable, and highly regarded.

Binding by Franz Weiße, on Jesus und Johannes, 1930.
From Otto Fröde, Franz Weisse, 1956.

During those sessions in the workshop, there were many occasions when the students used the Meister’s tools, thinking they would be able to create better work than if they used their own. The Meister let them believe that, and even let them use his bone folders so that these became used to the hands of others. This scared the wise Bone Folder. “If you keep on like this you won’t have any tools soon. Don’t ever let me leave your hands!” Franz replied, “oh, let them think my tools are theirs and that they can create better work with them than with their own tools. Everyone strives to improve...” “Well said,” said the Bone Folder, “but not with your tools…” “My dear Bone Folder,” said Franz, “that’s true, but apparently my tools can bring rewards to others. That’s why I let them go like that, just as they once came to me.”

Professor Franz Weiße observing his student Martin Lehmann gold tooling by hand.
Der Buchbinderlehrling, Vol 11, Nr 11, 1938.

Soon after, the wise Bone Folder itself disappeared without a trace. This made the Meister very sad and depressed, so much so that he never wanted to create another masterpiece. He didn’t even want to teach anymore. His treasure had gotten away from him, and with it his love of his fine craft. The Meister had become old and even superstitious. His hair grayed, his vision deteriorated so that he saw his gilt lines double, and his hands shook when he held the type-holder over the stove.. He rubbed his hands over his eyes and dreamt that the wise Bone Folder was still in his pocket where it had always rested. In his dream it spoke to his heart, “don’t be sad great Meister. You shared your talents before they could leave you, and your generosity was so great that you even let me go. Now, I still shape beautiful headcaps, but in someone else’s gentle hands. You still live though. Rise up, and continue to tell all the stories you told me. Then I will be with you in spirit and can help you. Your pen is your new tool now.”

This made the Meister perk up. Once again, the wise Bone Folder was right. Everyone has something to share and pass on. Meister Franz’s gifts will enable others to sustain themselves. He will keep nothing to himself until he closes his eyes for the last time, and then he will go, satisfied to have lived for his art and craft, and those that practice it.

[Do you still have your first bone folder? Did it help guide you in your career? Was it as wise and snarky?]

My first bone folders: The top given to me when I started in this field as a
work-study student at Conservation and Preservation at Johns Hopkins University Library in 1981.
The bottom when I began my apprenticeship at the Kunstbuchbinderei Dietmar Klein in Gelsenkirchen, Germany in 1985.

Franz Weiße (1878-1952) was one of the most noted German binders of the first half of the 20th century. He grew up as the son of a policeman and began his apprenticeship at age 14 as was traditional. According to Fröde (Franz Weisse, 1952) and the obituary that appeared in Das Falzbein (Vol 5, Nr. 3, 1952), his apprenticeship took place in a trade bindery in which boxes of all sorts and picture framing were part of the daily flow of work in addition to binding of hymnals, notebooks, and the like. When not working on what needed to be done, he was encouraged to follow his own interests including working on his own designs, drawing, binding, where he was described as willful. Following his apprenticeship he spent his journeyman years wandering throughout Germany to work in a wide variety of binderies, many of them referenced in his "fairy tale." His first attempt at enrolling in an arts & crafts school did not go well as they pushed a curriculum based on technical proficiency and traditional design, whereas he was more innovative, also described as willful. His relationship with Hans Dannhorn who taught finishing there grew into a friendship over the years and opened doors for him, at Hübel & Denck in Leipzig where he worked as a fine binder in their extra-binding division. During this time, he was drawn to the ideals of the English arts & crafts movement as exemplified by William Morris. In 1903, he became teacher at the school in [Wuppertal] Elberfeld where he taught all levels of binding, but also himself took classes in drawing to further develop his skills. His favorite students were those more "mature" ones working towards their Meister, something that had again become required in order to open one's own bindery and train apprentices. Weiße it is revealed never formally completed his apprenticeship or journeyman certificates...

In 1905, he followed the director of the school in Elberfeld to Hamburg that was in the process of reorganizing its arts & crafts school, and Weiße became the chair of the bookbinding program. He was to remain their until 1942 when he retired... During his tenure, he developed what became to be known as the Hamburg style and among his students were Ignatz Wiemeler (who taught for those in US Fritz Eberhardt, Gerhard Gerlach, and Kurt Londenberg, the latter teacher of Frank Mowery among others) and Heinrich Lüers were his students among other, and many went on to lead the bookbinding programs, with Wiemeler Weiße's successor in Hamburg and Lüers in Magdeburg. The latter went on to write one of the most comprehensive binding manuals in the German tradition.

In addition to teaching, Weiße was a founding member of the Meister der Einbandkunst (along with his friend and mentor Dannhorn among others) and was co-editor of Der Buchbinderlehrling, THE journal for bookbinding apprentices where he wrote under his own name and the pseudonym Schlaghammer ([paper]-beating hammer, something he had to learn to do as an apprentice). In 1942 he became co-editor of Das Deutsche Buchbinderhandwerk, successor to the Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien. He was also the author of several manuals on marbling, including Die Kunst des Marmorierens oder Die Herstellung von Buchbinder-Buntpapieren mit Wasserfarben auf schleimhaltigen Grund (1940), translated as The Art of Marbling by Richard J.Wolfe (Bird & Bull, 1980),& Mein Kampf mit der Ochsengalle (My Struggle with Oxgall, 1938), and Der Handvergolder im Tageswerken und Kunstschaffen (The Finisher in Daily Work and While Creating Art, 1951).

Like all binders and teachers of his era, Weiße, Lüers, Wagner, Dorfner ... worked in a system where the schools and organizations of all kind were ideologically controlled by the Nazi party to include the indoctrination of students, including expressing that ideology through their work. In his introduction to The Art of Marbling Wolfe speaks to that aspect as well. Der Buchbinderlehrling was certainly full of this indoctrination as the trade-schools were charged with developing well rounded individuals including subjects like "social studies" beyond the specific trade. Published in 1942, I expected "Das kluge Falzbein" (The Wise Bone Folder) to include such references, but was pleasantly pleased that it did not. Biographies of binders such as Dorfner and Weiße who were active during this time, most written in the 1950s, do not address this period except in the most general terms and often with references to bombed-out workshops, and certainly do include images of works expressing Nazi ideology. How strongly individuals identified with this ideology is not always discernible. It could have been accommodation in order to feed a family, or pure opportunism and careerism. Otto Dorfner is interesting in this regard as he was one of the favorites (see also Hitler's Bookbinder about Frieda Thiersch), stayed in Weimar in the Soviet Occupations Zone / DDR after the war, and continued to serve his masters with his work. Lüers' Das Fachwissen des Buchbinders appeared in multiple editions both during and after, and Vom Buchbinderlehrling zum Buchbindemeister (1941) published by the Reichsinnungsverband des Buchbinderhandwerks gives a sense of this. It is interesting to see how those references were expunged in post-war editions. Another example was Zechlin's Soldaten Werkbuch für Freizeit und Genesung (1943), in which the title was changed on the binding only to Jungens... More towards bottom here.

A thank you to Karen Hanmer for her contributions to making my translation of the tale better.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Ernst Collin über/about E.A. Enders, Leipzig - München

Ich liebe es wenn verschiedene Themen hier zusammen kommen wie in dem Beitrag in dem Ernst Collin über die "Zukunft unserer Kriegsbeschädigten" schrieb. In diesem Fall, eine Rezension geschrieben als "ec." über Musterbetriebe deutscher Wirtschaft: Die Großbuchbinderei E.A. Enders, Leipzig auf Seite 658 vom Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien. (Bd. 44, Nr. 28, 1929).

I love it when different threads come together such as with a previous post in which Ernst Collin wrote about rehabilitation for wounded veterans. In this case, finding a review of Musterbetriebe deutscher Wirtschaft: Die Großbuchbinderei E.A. Enders, Leipzig written as "ec." on page 658 of the Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien. (Vol. 44, Nr. 28, 1929).

Über die Sonderabteilung für Handeinbände schrieb Ernst Collin, "Wie die Mehrzahl der führenden Leipziger Großbuchbindereien, so verfügt auch die Firma E.A. Enders über eine Sonderabteilung für Handeinbände. Mit dieser Abteilung wird die handwerkliche Tradition des Unternehmens gewahrt. Abbildungen von Handeinbänden zumeist nach Entwürfen von H. Hußmann sind den Darlegungen über die Enderssche Werkstätte beigegeben: Eine moderne Stilsprache, die aus traditioneller Vornehmheit wichtige Anregungen geschöpft hat, ist das Kennzeichen dieser Einbände..."

About the extra-binding department, Ernst Collin wrote that like most of the large trade binderies in Leipzig, E.A. Enders also had such a department. These departments preserved the handbinding roots of what had become very large binderies. Depicted bindings in the book were largely designed by H. Hußman and represent the Enders aesthetic of a modern style that draws on traditional noblesse is the hallmark of their bindings.

Über die Sonderabteilung
About the extra-binding department

Einband von Musterbetriebe deutscher Wirtschaft
Cover of Musterbetriebe deutscher Wirtschaft

Beispiel der Arbeiten der Sonder-Abteilung
An example of the work of the Extra-Binding department

Buchstadt | City of the Book, Leipzig, 1913

1913 war Leipzig das Zentrum des deutschen Buchhandels und Verlagswesens. Zu den prominenten Unternehmen der Stadt gehörten Verlage wie F. A. Brockhaus, Reclam oder Breitkopf & Härtel. Hier wurden der Duden, Meyers Konversationslexikon und 90 Prozent der weltweiten Notenproduktion gedruckt. Nun zeigt eine digitale Karte, wie flächendeckend das Gesicht der Stadt damals vom Buchgewerbe geprägt war.

 Für die digitale Buchgewerbekarte wurden insgesamt 2.200 Firmenstandorte in einer Datenbank erfasst und nach Gewerbetypen sortiert. Dazu kamen die heutigen Entsprechungen der historischen Adressen und die Geokoordinaten. Alles zusammen wurde in eine digitale Karte mit historischem Overlay überführt.

 Die digitale Buchgewerbekarte ist ein Kooperationsprojekt zwischen dem Deutschen Buch- und Schriftmuseum der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek in Leipzig und dem Amt für Geoinformation und Bodenordnung der Stadt Leipzig.

In 1913 Leipzig was the center of publishing, book production, and publishing. Among the most prominent business were publishers like F.A. Brockhaus, Reclam, or  Breitkopf & Härtel. The Duden, Meyers Konversationslexikon, and 90% of sheetmusic and scores worldwide were printed here. Now, an interactive digital map shows how widely distributed the book trade was in Leipzig.

2,200 businesses were captured and coded by type, historic addresses overlaid onto a map from 1913 using GIS to create the map.

The map is the result of a cooperative project between the German Books and Writing of the German National Library and the Office for Geoinformation and Planning of the City of Leipzig. 
[Unfortunately for non-German speakers, the map and navigational elements are only in German]

Auf Karte klicken für Großansicht
Click on map to enlarge

Leipzig war auch Heimatstadt der BUGRA, der damals weltweit größten Buchmesse die ein Höhepunkt von 1914 war. Ernst Collin schrieb mehrere Aufsätze und Artikel zum Thema. Siehe auch 100 Jahre Bugra.

Leipzig was also home to the BUGRA, then the largest tradeshow for the book trades that was the highpoint of 1914. Ernst Collin wrote numerous articles about the BUGRA.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Binding Designs By Paul Kersten and Paul Klein

German binding manuals and related books of the first third of the 20th century often featured ideas and designs for bindings to instruct and to serve as a source of inspiration. For examples see Designing Spines and Paul Kersten's Decorative Leather Work.

Paul Kersten's (1865-1943) and Paul Klein's (1894-1968) Vierzig neuzeitliche Entwürfe für künstlerische Bucheinbände (Halle: Verlag Wilhelm Knapp, 1928) featured 20 designs each by two masters of the craft, noted teachers, and fine binders who both helped define design in the field. The "book" was issued in the form of plates printed on heavier newsprint-like paper in a wrapper. The table of contents indicated the finishing technique, e.g. blind or gold. The binding designs were printed on very thin glossy paper. The wrapper and layout were designed by Paul Klein. My copy of the text had been bound by attaching the (now rather brittle) plates to stubs and over-trimming the textblock. I'll blame the apprentice. A copy as issued (below) is/was available from my favorite dealer in Germany via eBay It is also available in facsimile.

Kersten who studied with Georg Collin (at W. Collin) was the teacher of  notable students including Otto Dorfner and Otto Pfaff, both of who Collin also wrote about in articles.others). He followed Maria Lühr as teacher at Lette Verein, and was recognized as one of the greatest finishers of his generation, and was the subject of a Festschrift written by Ernst Collin. In 1904, Kersten also published Moderne Entwürfe künstlerischer Bucheinbände, The book was serialized in 6 installments of loose plates, much like the book depicted below.

Paul Klein began his studies and apprenticeship at the Bauhaus (1921-22) under Dorfner where he led the binding workshop, and continued on with Dorfner as a journeyman after Dorfner left the Bauhaus. He later led the hand-binding division of Th. Knaur in Leipzig (a large firm) and subsequently went to work as a binder and designer at Hübel & Denck, also in Leipzig. According to Otto Dorfner: Zwischen van de Velde und Bauhaus (Halle/Weimar, 1989) edited by Mechtild Lobisch Kleins trail ends in the mid-thirties in Munich where he is said to have worked for a publisher.

As issued, image from Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas

Wrapper by Paul Klein

Design in gold Paul Kersten

Design in blind by Paul Kersten

Design in blind by Paul Kersten

Design in blind by Paul Kersten

Design in gold by Paul Klein

Design in blind by Paul Klein

Design in gold by Paul Klein

Design in gold by Paul Klein

More images from the book can be found via Europeana, here and here.

Below some actual bindings by Kersten and Klein from the Archiv für Buchbinderei, 1928.

Bindings by Paul Kersten, member of the Jakob-Krause-Bund (J.K.B.)

Bindings by Paul Klein, member of the Jakob-Krause-Bund (J.K.B.)

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Maria Lühr, erste deutsche Buchbindermeisterin

In Frauen als Buchbinder | Women as Bookbinders teilte ich einen Artikel aus einer unbekannten Zeitschrift mit dem Titel "Beim weiblichen Buchbindermeister" und mit Bildern einer Werkstatt in der nur Frauen ausgebildet und angestellt wurden. Kurz danach fand ich Bilder online die stechende Ähnlichkeiten hatten - die Werkbank, der Leimtopf, und im Hintergrund Bilder... am selben Platz hingen. Die Metadaten dazu gaben an, daß diese von einer Wanda von Debschitz-Kunowski für die Süddeutsche Zeitung (München) in der Werkstatt von Maria Lühr in Berlin aufgenommen wurden. Von Debschitz zog 1921 von München nach Berlin...


Aus "Beim weiblichen Buchbindermeister"

Aus "Beim weiblichen Buchbindermeister"


In der Werkstatt von Maria Lühr.
Aufnahme von Wanda von Debschitz-Kunowski für die Süddeutsche Zeitung (München)

Und hier noch zwei aus der Serie

In der Werkstatt von Maria Lühr.
Aufnahme von Wanda von Debschitz-Kunowski für die Süddeutsche Zeitung (München)

In der Werkstatt von Maria Lühr.
Aufnahme von Wanda von Debschitz-Kunowski für die Süddeutsche Zeitung (München)

Maria Lühr (geb 1874) kam auf Umwegen aus Holstein nach Berlin wo sie beim 1866 gegründeten Lette-Verein "zur Förderung der Erwerbsfähigkeit des weiblichen Geschlechts" in der Kunststickerei anfing. Laut Weiße in seinem Aufsatz im AAB (1949) sagte sie, daß sie in Richtung Handbuchbinderei gelenkt wurde da der Lette Verein eine Werkstatt für Buchbinderei einrichten wollte. So lernte sie zuerst bei W. Collin der sich stark dafür beim Hof und Kaiserin Friedrich einsetzte so, daß sie als Frau überhaupt eine Ausbildung machen konnte. Von dort zog es sie dann zu Cobden-Sanderson in England um ein Jahr dort zu lernen, und kam danach zurück um nach einem zwischen-Aufenthalt in Düsseldorf bei Wilhelm Rauch in Hamburg die Lehrzeit mit dem Gesellenbrief zu beenden. Ein Jahr später machte sie 1902 in Berlin die Meisterprüfung. Ihre Zeit bei Cobden-Sanderson beschrieb sie ausführlich in einem Aufsatz der 1930 im Buchbinderlehrling erschien.

Im Aufsatz beschrieb sie wie sie zu der Werkstatt von Cobden-Sanderson kam, ihre ersten Eindrücke, die Persönlichkeiten, unter ihnen Ihrer Mitschülerinnen, 3-4 Amerikanerinnen, und die Werkstatt und Arbeiten. Es war eine Zeit die sie sehr geprägt hat. Als Cobden-Sanderson 1910 Lühr im Lette-Verein besuchte war er erfreut "als er sein Bild auf ihrem Schreibtisch stehen fand." Bis zum Ausbruch des Krieges 1914 waren die zwei im Briefwechsel, danach nicht mehr...

Danach bildete sich weiter fort, gründete 1902 die Buchbinderwerkstatt im Lette Verein, daß sie bis 1913 leitete als sie ihre eigene Werkstatt am Kurfürstendamm (225b) in Berlin eröffnete. Paul Kersten war dort ihr Nachfolger.

Der Artikel "Buchbinderinnen" (Zeitschrift u. Datum unbekannt) beschreibt die Buchbinderei als Beruf für Frauen, erwähnt den Lette-Verein und war von dem Bild unten begleitet. Es könnte rechts Maria Lühr sein.

Maria Lühr (r)?

In einem Aufsatz in Die Kunstwelt: deutsche Zeitschrift für die bildende Kunst — 3.1913-1914 wurde Lühr als "eine moderne Buchbinderin" beschrieben mit Details zu dem Unterricht den sie im Lette-Verein anbot.

"Eine moderne Buchbinderin"
Die Kunstwelt: deutsche Zeitschrift für die bildende Kunst — 3.1913-1914

 Der Artikel endet mit:
So ist Maria Lühr eine der nicht zahlreichen Frauen, die auf der Grundlage eines sicheren und gründlichen Wissens und Könnens wirklich befähigt sind, den Kampf mit dem Leben und mit der Konkurrenz erfolgreich aufzunehmen. 
Wenn man den Unterschied beachtet, der zwischen den Büchern besteht, die Fräulein Lühr 1912 in der Ausstellung: 'die Frau in Haus und Beruf' ausstellte und denen, die sie jetzt auf die 'Bugra' gebracht hat, so sieht man eine erstaunliche Entwicklung ihrer künstlerischen Leistungsfähigkeit - in technischer Beziehung hat sie schon immer Vollendetes geleistet - und man muß herzliche Freude darüber empfinden, daß ihr in ihrer nunmehrigen Selbständigkeit die Möglichkeit gegeben ist, sich in ihrem Können mehr und mehr zu entfalten.
Sie war Gründungsmitglied de Jakob-Krause-Bundes, stellte mit dem aus, z.B. der 1921er Ausstellung Deutsche Einbandkunst, und wechselte dann zu den Meistern der Einbandkunst.

Aus dem Jüdischenadressbuch, 1929-30 (111)
Lühr war die Tochter eines evangelischen Pastors

Nebenbei, war W. Collin zu dem Zeitpunkt (1930) unter der Leitung von Gertrude Collin in der Kurfürstenstr 99a angesiedelt.

Aus dem Adressbuch für Berlin, 1930

1938 feierte sie 25. Geschäftsjubilaeum und 50 Jahre als Buchbinderin.

Zu Weiße sagte sie 1949, daß sie und die Werkstatt "Gewissermaßen von Bomben verschont blieben" und, daß sie mit Ihrer "treuen Mitarbeiterin  Fraulein [Helene] von Stolzenberg an praktischen Aufträgen arbeitete, lehrte und schuftete. Ehrenvolle Arbeiten wurden erledigt. Und der Kampf um das liebe Brot ist uns Frauen so gut bekannt wie den Männern, unseren verehrten Herrn Meistern!" Laut Weiße, "da beißt die Maus keinen Faden ab." Von Stolzenberg bildete sie selbst zur Meisterin aus.

In dem Artikel sprach sie auch über das "Sterben von 'Schwestern' an Unterernährung und Kälte. Licht auf Stunden, wo man schlafen müßte. Arbeiten sind verlagert, Kunsteinbände auf Nimmerwiedersehen verloren... Aufträge kommen langsame; weiter heraus geschoben als die Lieferung ist die Bezahlung. Ohne Glanz ein Ende? Nein wir Raffen uns Auf! Und hier sage ich: "Es ist nicht gut, dass der 'alte' Mensch allein sei."

Sorgen um die Nachfolge machte sich Lühr oft, auch um die eigene Einsamkeit und daß alleine Alt werden wie spätere Artikel im AAB schilderten. Weiße endete seinen Artikel mit:
Ich lese im Bericht von 1912 dieses 'Lette-Verein' – Institutes, das ja lange schon seine Tore geschlossen hat, von einer Diskussion über die handwerksmäßige Ausbildung der Frau: 'Wenn mal die Buchbinderei Werkstätten weibliche Lehrlinge wie männliche aufnehmen, hat die Werkstätte des Lette-Verein ihre Mission erfüllt und kann ihre Tore Schliessen!' – Mithin haben wir jenes Institute als den Anreger anzusehen, auch Frauen in unseren Handwerksberuf aufzunehmen. – Pionier? – Maria Lühr!  –
In "Die Frau im Buchbinderhandwerk" beschrieb Lühr 1937 ihren Werdegang, die Lage der Buchbinderei, daß sie versuchte 1918 einen Bund deutscher weiblicher Buchbindermeister zu gründen, aber die Zahlen waren zu gering und die Wirtschaftslage zu heikel, so daß der Bund 1923 aufgelöst wurde. Sie beschrieb auch die Lage der Frauen im Buchbindeberuf mit Statistiken. Zu ihrer Tätigkeit beim Lette-Verein und als selbständige, ausbildende Meisterin schrieb sie, daß:
Andere mehr oder weniger begabte Lehrlinge folgten, die alle ihre Gesellenprüfung mit gutem Erfolg ablegten. Einige machten sich nach späterer Meisterprüfung selbständig, andere heirateten Buchbindermeister und stehen ihren Männern im Erwerbsleben fleißig bei, noch andere gaben bei ihrer Heirat den Beruf auf. — Da die männlichen Buchbindermeister sahen, daß die Frauen es mit ihrem Beruf ernst nahmen, scheuten sie sich auch nicht mehr, weibliche Lehrlinge einzustellen, und so ist es für die Frauen heute viel einfacher, gründliche Kenntnisse in der Buchbinderei zu erwerben wie zu der Zeit, als ich damit begann.
Die Buchbinderwerkstatt des Lette-Vereins schloß am September 1937 die BuchbinderwerkstattDer Lette-Verein ist seit 1944 eine "Stiftung des öffentlichen Rechts umgewandelt. Seit 1982 sind die Schulen des Lette-Vereins koedukativ." 

Maria Lühr starb 1969.

Aus Weiße, Franz - Maria Lühr in Berlin 65 Jahre Meisterin,
Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien, Vol 62, Nr 3, 1949.

So wie Paul Adams Praktischen Arbeiten des Buchbinders als Practical Bookbinding ins Englische übersetzt wurde, wurde auch Douglas Cockerells Bookbinding and the Care of Books 1902 von Felix Hübel ins Deutsche übersetzt als Der Bucheinband und die Pflege des Buches. Dies wurde 1925 aufgearbeitet von Lühr die auch das Vorwort schrieb:
Es hat mir viel Freude gemacht, dieses Buch durchzuarbeiten. Ich benutzte dazu die 1. Übersetzung und den englischen Text, der 1920 in 4. Auflage in erweitertem Umfange erschienen ist. Es wurde mir leicht, mich in die Arbeitsweise des Herrn D. Cockerell hineinzufinden, da ich gleich ihm Schüler Cobden Sandersons bin. Ich konnte dadurch manchen Arbeitsvorgang berichtigen und ergänzen, ohne von dem Urtext abzuweichen.
Manche Arbeitsweise ist für unsern praktischen Werkstattsgebrauch etwas zu umständlich, doch kann diese ja jeder Meister nach den Verhältnissen abändern. Die ganze Herstellung und Behandlung des Buches ist auf guter alter Handwerksart aufgebaut und es wäre zu wünschen, daß die Handarbeit des Handwerkers immer mehr in Ehren käme.

Der Bucheinband und die Pflege des Buches.

Vorwort von Lühr zu Der Bucheinband und die Pflege des Buches.

Einen Einband von Lühr an dieser Ausgabe gibt es in der Sammlung Max Hettler zu sehen.

Lühr schreib auch andere Aufsätze für den Buchbinderlehrling über "Die Herstellung selbstgefertigter Überzugpapiere" und "Die Herstellung des Papiers in alter und neuer Zeit" (1929).

Beilage zu "Die Herstellung selbstgefertigter Überzugpapiere (Buntpapiere),
A. Wasser- oder Oelpapiere"

Zum Leben und Schaffen Maria Lührs u. Frauen als Buchbinder