Printing Museum, Movable Type, Wood Type, Linotype, Typography, Printmaking, Letterpress, Business Documents, Printers' Job Bag, job envelope, galley proof, costing.
Melbourne Museum of Printing
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Australia's working and teaching museum of typography and printing located at Footscray, Victoria. Specialising in retention of traditional printing, both the equipment and the knowledge.

The Job Bag and its Contents

The business of printing usually involved lots of documentation. The client may send a sketch and wording for the job. The printer (or costing staff) would calculate the price from a knowledge of all the needed inputs (type, ink, paper, labour, machine time etc), a quote may be issued, an official order received, proofs of typesetting, illustrations and ready pages exchanged for okay, press checks seen and signed, finished trimmed and folded examples, invoice, reminder, statements, receipts.

One way of organising all this was the job envelope or job bag. Commonly, the outside of the envelope was printed up as a costing form, while the other items (if they could fit) were inside. The job bag went from department to department following the progress of the job, then finally to the office.

MMOP's collection of business documents includes hundreds of examples of this kind, as well as examples of the "supply side" of the print business, the dealings with suppliers. These range from purchase of machinery down to telephone and power bills.

This job bag was retrieved from the remains of "R.S. Smith - Footscray Advertiser". Another printer moved in for some years and when they left, the owner of the building discovered a great mess of documents and made them available for posterity.

Now, of course, it's up to our team of volunteers to make sense of it all.

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