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The block on which the ink is spread to supply the balls; in wooden presses, it is nailed to the upper near hind rail, and is supported at the bottom by a stay fastened to the lower rail.
It was generally made of a piece of elm wood, between two and three inches thick, with a ledge of fix wood, at the back, at one end, and also at part of the front. A quantity of ink was kept in the farther corner, which was rubbed out on the bottom with the brayer, from which it was taken with a ball, and then distributed.
In fine printing that required strong ink, it being found very difficult, in cold weather, to distribute the ink properly, some offices adopted a small table having an iron plate for the top, with a shelf under it for a lamp, which warmed the ink and caused it to work more freely.
The introduction of rollers has superseded the use of the ink block, for which has been substituted an Inking Apparatus, which see.