4.1.1: 1830 - 1910 - Introduction

Social and technical developments in the nineteenth century had a great effect on the external form of books. There was a greater variety in types, forms of illustration, formats and in binding methods which made the book more attractive for an ever-larger group of readers. The quality of the machine-cast type, printing on automatic presses with sophisticated inking methods and the combination with machine-made paper gave the book a completely different appearance. The manufacture of paper by machine and the use of different raw materials not only influenced the price of the paper but also made larger variations in format possible. High-quality rag paper was, however, gradually replaced by wood-pulp paper with all that it entailed. In the course of the nineteenth century, the evolution of the book from being a costly possession for the privileged into a consumption article for the masses had started.

In addition, as in the surrounding countries, a whole new genre appeared: the illustrated magazine. The rise of the magazine meant a great impulse, particularly for the illustrative techniques. Had the deadline for illustrations in books not been so important, for a magazine that had to appear every month or every two weeks, it was much more a matter of precision. In addition, the public, now used to photography, demanded higher and higher levels of image veracity.

author: J. de Zoete