This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
QUARTO, " 4to.".
Duodecimo, " l2mo.".
THE accompanying illustrations, upon this page, represent the principal sizes of books, namely: Folio, a long book; Quarto (4to), nearly square, ( shape of Hell's Manual ); Octavo ( 8vo ), the general size ; and Duodecimo ( 12mo ), a small book, as seen below.
The standard size of book paper is 25 x 38 inches; one half of the sheet being 19x25 inches, which folded in two leaves, having four pages, makes a book of the size called a folio.
When the half sheet is folded in four leaves, making eight pages, it forms a quarto in size.
The half sheet folded again, eight leaves, sixteen pages, forms an octavo, or folded into sixteen leaves forms a sixteenmo.
By folding the same into twelve leaves, making twenty-four pages, we have a duodecimo. Folded into eighteen leaves, or thirty-six pages, we form an 18mo; into 24 leaves, and we have a 24mo, &c
The words Post, Crown, Demy, Royal, etc., used in connection, as Royal Octavo, designate the sizes of paper of which books are made.
Modern facilities for the manufacture of paper enable publishers to have any desired size made to order, as has been done in the case of this book.
The marks a, b, c; 1, 2, 3; 1*, 2*, 3*, 1a, etc, occasionally found at the bottom of a page, are what printers term signature marks, being printed for the direction of the binders in folding the sheets. ______________
The art of covering books in a superior manner, was in use long before the art of printing was discovered, some of the most beautiful and elaborate binding being executed as early as the 11th century. Books, which were in manuscript, in those days, were few, and so very valuable that great care was taken in their preservation, jewelers and other artisans engaging in the manufacture and ornamentation of their covers.
With the advanced civilization of the 19th century, however, the superior machinery for book binding has not only cheapened the cost, but the facilities in some large establishments, are such as to enable manufacturers to elegantly bind, in muslin, one hundred and fifty copies per hour.