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Take Up

To take letters up with a composing rule to distribute. — M. When a compositor is distributing, he places his composing rule against the head of the matter he means to take up, and putting the sides of his two third fingers, near the ends, to the ends of the rule, and the sides of his fingers against the sides of the matter, with his fore fingers at the extreme end, round the corners of the matter he intends to take up, and the ends of his thumbs against the back of the rule, he thus grasps it, and then generally tries if it will lift, when by a sudden lifting of the bottom end of the matter, and turning up of the rule with his thumbs, he raises it from the board to a perpendicular direction, resting on the rule; and turning it with the face of the letter to him, with one part of the rule resting on the third finger of his left hand, and the other end against the ball of his thumb, while the sides of the matter are guarded by his thumb and forefinger, when the measure is not too wide, he begins to distribute.

In like manner he takes up matter to move from one galley to another, when he is making up; except that he places his rule against the foot of the matter, and when he grasps it he does not raise it perpendicularly, but lifts it to him under his hands, his forefinger being against the rule, and his thumbs grasping the head of the matter.

A stranger to the business would be surprised to see the number of lines of types that an expert compositor will lift in this manner.

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