"Perhaps the essential quality desirable in a compositor* is an infinite capacity for taking pains, whatever kind of work is to be done." (Chapter 1: The Qualifications of the Compositor)
"The young compositor eager and anxious to make good progress in mastering the technique of his (sic) craft is often in the position of "attempting to run before he is able to walk". (Chapter 2: Composition)
"Unfortunately, and short-sightedly, many employers (or their overseers) appear to believe that the young student-apprentice will be happily engaged for week after week on clearing. This is by no means true; rather does the apprentice begin to wish he (sic) had never seen a composing room - and this is understandable." (Chapter 9: Clearing and Distribution)
"The accuracy of all type calculations depends largely on an intelligent analysis of the copy and any deviations required thereby, together with an alert perception of the relative differences between type founts, the space to be occupied by setting matter in different styles, and the judicious allowance for correct grouping and spacing throughout the work." (Chapter12: Case-Room Calculations (3))
From Printing Theory and Practice 2: Compositors' Work. Charles L. Pickering. (Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons Ltd: 1948)
Thank you, Mark, for sharing this lovely little book!
We'd love to see the others in the series: Bookwork, Compositors' Equipment, Typographic Design etc.
* A compositor is one who does composing or type-setting with movable type.