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"Family Herald" Magazine is Typeset by Machine for Twenty-Two Weeks

Family Herald Masthead

Reproduction of the Family Herald masthead for Vol. 1, No. 1, December 17, 1842. Note the woodcut of the Young & Delcambre Pianotyp typesetting machine in the center. This is reproduced from Brigitte Robak, Vom Pianotyp zur Zeilensetzmaschine. Setzmaschinenentwicklung und Geschlecterverhältnis 1840-1900 (Marburg: Jonas Verlag, 1996) p. 27. As of January 2019 I was unable to find either an original or a digitized copy of the first year of this periodical typeset by the Pianotyp.

On December 17, 1842 the first weekly issue of Family Herald or Useful Information and Amusement for the Million appeared in London. Owned and edited by James Elishama Smith, and published by George Biggs, the journal was typeset using the Young & Delcambre typesetting machine, an image of which was used in the title-piece of the journal. The original format was only four folio-sized pages. Because women operated the typesetting equipment its use was opposed by the London Union of Compositors, and the journal ceased publication in this form after only 22 weekly issues. 

Biggs relaunched the Family Herald on May 13, 1843 in a 16-page double-column quarto format priced at only 1d, presumably using conventional manual typesetting methods. In this form it became a major success with circulation reaching 300,000 in 1855, falling to 200,000 in 1860.

Blake (ed), Dictionary of Nineteenth Century Journalism in Great Britain and Ireland (2009) 213-214.

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