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The Next 100 Years Part I

Updated: Feb 15, 2020

The 100 years that followed the introduction of Benjamin Blayney's fine editorial work were productive years for the English speaking people. Both The United States and Great Britain became beacons of prosperity and power. The British flag flew over 1/4 of the worlds area. The sun never set on its flag. The United States which had been a small cluster of underpopulated colonies on the eastern coast of America now stretched from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Technology was developing at ever increasing rates. Messages could be sent across continents at the speed of light. Railroads carried passengers at speeds and in comfort unheard of in time past. The oceans could be crossed in days instead of months. What was needed was an advancement in the printing of bibles.

Think of yourself sitting on a three legged stool after a 12 hour work day. Your eyes hurt from the long hours of reading small type. They sting from the smoke in the room or from sweat running into them. You are reading by candle light. An impatient foreman is waiting for you to approve the damp sheet that he has just handed you. It is the first trial sheet of the 5000 that he would like to print before he goes home. You carefully read each word trying to find typos. Do you think you might make mistakes?

From 1611 until the early 1800s every edition of the bible depended on moveable type that was assembled and taken back apart for every page of the bible that was being printed. By this method mistakes were inevitable. If a mistake was discovered in a particular bible and then corrected, a dozen more might appear in the next printing. It all depended on the diligence of the printing crews and proof readers as they assembled and reassembled millions of pieces of movable type.

In the late 1700s the Dutch had begun to develop stereotype printing. By this method a unique plate was made for every single page of the bible. The Dutch jealously guarded their technology but by the early 1800s it found its way into England. By the early 1800's Cambridge had begun using stereotype printing. The big advantage to this method was that from that point on when a mistake was discovered, the plate could be changed and the change was permanent. The road was paved for a truly perfect bible.

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