Two topics which were often seen in years past but which are seldom seen today. This chapters’ focus is on two books which I have recently come across. One gauffered and the other an instruction manual for gauging.
We do not often see gauffering today but it was once a popular way of adding something special to a book. #Gauffering describes the act of applying a patterned decoration to the block edges of a book. Gauffering is used most often seen on books with gold or gilded edges. The pattern is imprinted using heated metal stamps and rollers. One can also find books with painted images on the edges which also falls under the description of gauffering, I believe.
From the edges of a book to a treatise for the learning of gauging. We do not teach gauging any more since it is all done by computer now. A gauger was in years past was an officer of the Royal Revenue Excise and Duty.
This treatise by #CharlesLeadbetter is an instruction manual for the training and learning of Excise men. Being an excise man, one needed to work out the areas, volumes, weight etc. of solid, liquid, and gas measures to then calculate the tax which would then be payable to the Revenue. These men used what we might call a slide rule to work out these measures.
#ThomasEverard is credited with the development of the sliding rule in 1683. There is a chapter on the use of such an instrument to assist in the calculations required for excise. Leadbetter did not trust printed tables for he said they could be forged and rewritten. But then one might also say that dodgy excise man using a slide rule no one else knows how to use might also be capable of committing fraud. The book I have is some 508 pages of tutoring for the calculating of almost everything that an excise man would come across. It’s plain brown cover has been held often and long. I would love to say it was in great shape but it is not. Pages 275 to 314 are missing as well as several folded inserts (I believe) but then again it was printed in 1755 and has been often held and well used. As I page through, I am amazed at the amount of math which was required knowledge. An impressive manual.
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