Francis Lieber.

Library of universal knowledge. A reprint of the last (1880) Edinburgh and London edition of Chambers' encyclopaedia, with copious additions by American editors (Volume 13) online

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It remains to speak of the pictures in their relation the one to the other as a stereo-
scopic pair. Evidently, exactly to reproduce the conditions of normal vision, they
should be taken from points of view separated laterally by a space equal to the distance
between the eyes, viz., about 2.} in. ; and for all objects within narrow limits of distance
this ride is observed. But taking a wider range, such as would include, for instance,
an extensive architectural pile, photographers usually take their pictures from spots
separated by a considerable interval; and the stereoscopic slides thus obtained, when
viewed in the stereoscope, exhibit effects of solidity or relief of a very striking charac-
ter. Inasmuch, however, as these effects are due to a gross exaggeration of the ordinary
difference of perspective relatively to the two eyes, they to a like extent misrepresent
the actual appearance of the scene; and it were to be wished that for all stereoscopic
pairs alike, whether representative of near or of remote objects, photographers would be
content to adopt that exact relation of the two retinal pictures which subsists in ordinary
binocular vision. As to the mounting of the pictures, it is of course highly important
that they be placed exactly in the same line; it has further been pointed out by Mr.
Claudet that, as the apparent solidity of the objects viewed in the stereoscope conflicts
with the evident flatness of the cardboard mount, it is advantageous to adopt the follow-
ing expedient. The pictures must be of the same size, but instead of having them
identically the same as regards the objects represented on each, let the left-hand picture
include on its left-hand margin somewhat less than is found on the same margin of the
right-hand picture; similarly, let its right-hand margin contain somewhat more than is
found on the same margin of the right-hand picture: then will the view appear to extend
well out of and beyond the cardboard, which forms, as it were, a framework around it.
A moment's consideration will show that this ingenious arrangement does but reproduce
the conditions which obtain whenever we look out upon a scene through a casement
distant from us by a few feet. Availing himself of the libration of the moon, Mr. War-
ren De La Rue hns obtained lunar stereoscopic photographs, which exhibit that body
with a general appearance of rotundity, while the other objects on her surface arc seeu
in conspicuous relief. These effects are, however, evidently due to an exaggeration of
the "binocular parallax;" for by no human eyes, how near soever they might be placed
to the lunar surface, could such a view be obtained. It is, as sir John Herschel has
remarked, as though the moon were seen with the eyes of a giant, placed thousands of
miles apart.

Among the minor applications of the stereoscope may be mentioned the STEUEO-
MONOSCOPE and the STEREOTROPE, the former devised by Mr. Claudet, the latter by
Mr. William Thomas Shaw; and severally described by them in the Proceedings of the
Royal Society at June, 1857, April, 1858, and Jan. 1861. In the stereomono-copc, the two
pictures of a stereoscopic pair are projected, by means of lenses, on to the posterior
surface of a piece of ground glass, one upon the other, or so that they occupy the same
place; when the observer, looking from the opposite side of the glass, sees them not as a
confused mixture of two pictures, but as a single stereoscopic representation, possessing
the usual attributes of solidity or relief. The stereotrope consists in an application of
the principle of the stereoscope to that class of instruments variously termed tliauma-
tropes, plu.'nakistoscopes, etc., which depend for their results on " persistence of vision."
In these instruments, as is well known, an object represented on a revolving disk in the
successive positions it assumes in performing a given evolution, is seen to execute the
movement so delineated; in the stereotrope, the effect of solidity is superadded, so that

o-t 7


the object is seen as if in motion, and with an appearance of relief as in nature. A
highly ingenious application of the principle of the stereoscope to portraiture has buta
described by 31 r. Henry Swaun in the licj/urt of the British Asijcmti<ni for 18CO. In liiu
arrangement, tiie portrait is seen as a solid bust imbedded in a cube of crystal. A ICrm
of the; reflecting stereoscope, in which the' planes of reflection are vertical, has been pro-
poM-d by Mr. \Valter llardie.

But by far tiic most important application of the stereoscopic principle, is its realiza-
tion in the binocular microscope of Mr. Weuhani, the advantages of which over tho
monocular form of that instrument are increasingly appreciated by microscopies. lu
this, the right and left eye pictures, respectively, are thus obtained. Immediately behind
the object -gia., a small and peculiarly shaped prism is placed iu such a position, that it
shall receive the whole of the rays coming through the right half of the lens. These
rays, after being twice ref.'.eted within the body of the prism, finally emerge at such an
angle to their original direction, that they cross the undiverted pencil of rays transmitted
by the other half of the lens, and are then received into a second tube, which, being
inclined to the first or main tube at an appropriate angle, conveys them to the left eye;
while the other complement of rays pursues an undeviating course to the right eye.
Each of the two tubes is tilted with the usual eye-pieces; and object-glasses of all but
the highest powers may be used with pleasure and advantage. For a fuller explanation,
see the original paper hy Mr. \Yeuhani in the Transactions of the Microscopic Society, new
scries, vol. ix., page 13.

STE REOTYPING (Gr. shreot, fixed, solid), the art of fabricating metal plates resembling
pages of type, from which impressions may be taken as in ordinary letter-press printing.
Tiie plates, which are composed of type-metal, are about three-sixteenths of an inch thick,
perfectly smooth on the back, and having a face exactly resembling a page of movable
type. To yield an impression, the plates are fastened by a temporary arrangement to
blocks of wood plate and block together being the height of a type, or one inch.
Stereotyping is not employed where only a definite and moderate number of impressions
of any work are required. Its chief value consists in its availableness for future
impressions contingent on the renewed demand for copies; but it is also of importance
in duplicating the means of taking large impressions quickly. Considering the small
quantity of metal employed in fabricating a stereotype plate, printers are enabled to
secure and store np forms of type, so to speak, at a comparatively small outlay, and
have at all times the means ready at hand to produce fresh editions without the trouble
or eost of setting a single letter. As in the case of many valuable inventions, there has
been not a little discussion as to who was the discoverer of the art of stereotyping. By
some it has been ascribed to Van cler Mey, a Dutch printer, who early in the 18th. c.
executed editions of the Bible from forms of fixed type. Van der Mey's process, how-
ever, was not stereotyping in the proper sense of the word; for it consisted in nothing
more than soldering together all the types in a page in order to fix them permanently.
There can be no doubt that the inventor of stereotyping was William Ged, a goldsmith
in Edinburgh, who made the discovery about 1725. In 1727 he entered into a contract
with a person to prosecute the business of stereotyping; but this person, who had little
means, becoming intimidated, the contract was relinquished. In 1729. Ged entered into
n partnership for the same object with William Fenner, a London stationer. Afterward,
John James, an architect, Thomas James, a type-founder, and James Ged, son of the
inventor, joined the partnership. By this association, certain Bibles and prayer-books
were stereotyped for the university of Cambridge about 1731. Ged's success was .-o far
complete, but his prospect-? were blighted by ill-treatment from his partners, as well as

to l>e melted. A few of these plates escaped the crucible, and from two of them, being

Pages of the Book of Common Prayer, impressions are given in Hansard's Typographic^
'aVt II. 1825. Ged's partnership was broken up in 1738. and full of disappointment he
returned to Edinburgh. There, he prosecuted his art, and was able to execute several
editions of Sallust. of a small si/e. for the use of schools. Copies of these editions still
exist. The earliest which we have seen purports to be printed in 1739, anil bears an
imprint in Latin which may be translated as follows: "Not executed by movable
but by tablets of fused metal." The printing is as neatly executed as that of any volume 1
at the period. This Sallust of 173!). as we apprehend, was the first book correctly
printed from stereotype plates. To add to the cares of William Ged. his son James
engaged in the Jacobite insurrection of 1745. nnd was taken prisoner, and condemned;
his life, however, was spared on account of his father's useful invention, ami he pro-
ceeded to Jamaica, where William, his brother, was already settled. V.'illiam Ged, the
inventor of stereotyping, died at Edinburgh, Oct. 19, 174'J, in very indifferent circum-

The art of stereotyping has undergone little change since its discovery by Ged. Tho

process of fabricating plates is very simple. The page of type heiiiL' set, corrected,

cleaned, and fixed in a frame, is laid on a smooth iron table face upward; a little fino-

oil is brushed over it, to prevent the liquid stucco from adhering; the stucco to the coir

U. K. X1IL 53

Sterlet. Q 1 Q


sistency of cream is now poured over the face of the page, and straightened over it in
the process of hardening; when hardened, the cake of stucco is lifted oil', aud is seen to
be a perfect mold of the types. The cake is now baked in an oven, and then placed in
an iron pan; the pan, which has inlets at the upper side, is plunged into molten metal,
which soon runs into the mold; being lifted out aud cooled, the pan is opened and
found to contain a plate resembling the page of type; the mold is broken and of no
further use. When removed from the pan, the plate is rough, and needs to be trimmed
for working; for this purpose it passes through the hands of artisans, who prepare it for
the press. Should any particular letter be defective, it is dug out, and a corresponding
type inserted; the end of which type is cut off at the back of the plate by a soldering
bolt. In preparing plates for press, nothing is more important than giving a high degree
of level smoothness to the back, and to effect this certain planing and smoothing opera-
tions are adopted. Such is the old and well-known stucco process of stereotyping.
Latterly, there have been divers improvements as regards the shape of the pans, in order
to facilitate the fabrication of several plates at once, but the principle is in all cases the
eame. After the stereotyping is finished, the types are distributed. In some printing-
offices, all work whatsoever is executed from plates, and types are employed only to pro-
duce molds. This, however, does not save types from deterioration; in cleaning them
with brushes and oiling them for the stucco, their finer parts become in no long time
rounded off. As regards impressions from stereotype plates, the work is seldom so sharp
and fine as from pages of movable letter; but it answers every required purpose in a
large variety of cases. Plates properly manufactured, stored, and mended when neces-
sary, will last for repeated impressions to the extent of hundreds of thousands over a
long series of years. The stock of plates in some establishments is accordingly large,
and represents a considerable sunk capital. When no longer required, the plates are
melted down as material for fresh castings.

The paper process of stereotyping was invented some years ago on the continent, but
has been since perfected in the Times office, where it was adopted for duplicating
newspaper forms. See TIMES. A uniform sheet of soft and damp matter is formed
by gumming together, first, a sheet of thin yet very tough tissue paper; second, a sheet
of loose and bibulous white .paper; and third, a sheet of fine-grained aud tough brown
paper. The smooth and white side of the sheet, still soft aud moist, is placed on the
types. Both are then put in a press. A roller passes under the form, and presses it
up against the paper, so as to receive the impression of the types and convert it into a
mold. The detits made by the types rise on the outside of the paper, so that any spot
where the paper has not sunk into the spaces between the types is at once detected.
Such spots generally occur, and are removed by the paper being driven in between the
types by blows of a hard brush. The dents made by the types, we have said, are repre-
sented by elevations on the outside of the sheet, and the interstices are represented by
corresponding hollows. The latter are filled up at this stage by a thin coating of stucco
laid on by a brush. The mold is then carefully removod, dried, and placed in a shallow
box of metal placed upright. The smooth or stucco side of the mold is pushed against
the back of the box. The lid is then closed very tightly, leaving only an opening at the
top. Through this opening molten metal is poured, and a plate is thus formed, one side
of which, of course, is a cast from the mold. It contains elevations a!, places where
there are wide spaces between the types, and these it is necessary to remove with the
chisel. In other respects the plate is an exact copy of the form. The great advantage
of this mode of stereotyping is its rapidity. Plates from stucco could scarcely be pro-
duced and ready for press in less than six hours; plates from paper can be produced and
laid on the machine in less than one hour. Indeed, in the Times office, where the pro-
cess has been carried to great perfection, the plates are now produced in seven minutes.
By the paper process, plates are produced every morning for the London newspapers
and others of which vast impressions are required. The forms of types themselves are
no longer used, a number of plates being produced corresponding to the number of
machines employed (see TIMES), and all the copies of the paper are printed from them.
A very great saving in the cost of types is thus effected. It was necessary to renew the
fount every few months in the Times office, when that paper was printed in the usual
way. Since the introduction of the new process, the expense of the production of that
great newspaper has been to a considerable degree kept in check. The types last as
many years as they did months when printed from. To accommodate printing machines
on which the forms need to be fixed in a cylinder, the paper molds are placed in pans
or boxes which are of the required shape. The molds are then bent with their backs
outward, aud the molten metal is poured between the concave mold and convex lid.
The plates are generally cast in four segments, which screwed together form a cylinder.
They are adjusted to the printing press by a planing machine, which cuts their inner
surface to the exact convexity of the cylinder. To this duplication there is of course no
limit ; sets of plates can be produced to any required number As copies of old news-
papers are not wanted, the plates are melted down as soon as the operations of the day
are over. Even when books are printed from movable types, it may serve a good pur-
pose to take paper molds from them before distribution ; for the molds, on being dried,
can be laid aside and be afterward employed for fabricating plates should a new impres-
sion be wanted. The author of a book, for example, could at a most insignificant addi-

O-IQ Sterlet.


tion to the expense of typography, possess himself of a set of paper molds of his work,
to be used if necessary at some future period, in order to save the composition for a new



STERLING, an epithet generally applied to the money of the United Kingdom. The
original standard of money was weight, and among the Anglo-Saxon and Teutonic
nations the basis of weight was in early times supplied by the wheat-corn. Charlemagne
superseded the earlier systems by a new coinage, in which a pound of 12 ounces became
the money weight, each pound being dividetl into 20 solidi, and each solidus into 12
denarii of the weight of 32 wheat-corns. The older ailfer or scruple of 24 wheat-corns
"being superseded by the penny of 32 wheat-corns, tlie term sterling seems to have been
applied to the latter, in consequence of its being in use among the Ripuarian or Austra-
sian Franks, sometimes called the EsLerlingt, while the old scruple continued to be used
by the Northmen. In England where the change was early introduced, the word ster-
ling came in the course of time to indicate the fineness or standard of the silver; and
nearly the same standard, consisting of 11 oz. 2 dwt. of pure silver, and 18 dwt. of alloy
to the pound troy, or ^y^dwt., seems to have subsisted from the 12th c. downward.
The superiority of the English standard silver to all other currency has been generally
acknowledged over Europe; and hence the adjective sterling has" become a synonym
for pure and genuine.

STERLING, a city in Whitesides co., 111., on Rock river, the Chicago and North-
western, the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy, and the St. Louis, Rock Island and
Chicago railroads; pop. '75, 5,712. It has churches, schools, banks, a free library, and
fotir newspapers. It has Holly water works, and is lighted with gas. There is a dam
over the river 1100 ft. long and 7 ft. high, and the rapids have a natural fall of 9 feet.
There are extensive manufacturing establishments, including flour mills, the largest dis-
tilleries in the country, tanneries, and many manufactories of wooden wares.

STERLING, JOHN, 1806-44; b. Scotland; educated at Glasgow and~Cambridge. He
was for a time connected with the London Athenmim. He took orders in the English
church, but after a short service as a curate, devoted himself entirely to literature.
Among his writings are Arthur Coningsby (1833) ; Poems (1839) ; TJie Election, a poem (1841) ;
and Straffurd, a drama (1843). He is more celebrated from Carlyle's Life of John Sterling
(1851), than from his own works. A memoir of him, with 2 vols. of Essays a/id Taks was
published by J. C. Hare in 1848.

STERNBERG, a t. of Austria, in Moravia, 12 m. n.n.e. of OlmQtz. Pop. '69,
13,479. It is the chief seat of the Moravian cotton manufactures, and has also not unim-
portant manufactures of linen, hosiery, and liquors. The cotton and linen goods made
at Sternberg, and in the vicinity, are known as Slernberg wares.

STERNE, LAURENCE, though of English descent and parentage, was born at Clon
mel, in Ireland, on Nov. 24, 1713. In that country also, in some intermittent way, a
good deal of his boyhood was passed with possibly some effect in developing that
oddity and whimsical exuberance long after to find vent in his writings. His father was
of a good Yorkshire family, and as lieutenant in a marching regiment led a wandering
and unsettled life. When about ten years old, the boy was consigned to the care of his
kinsman, Mr., Sterne of Elvington, in Yorkshire, by him put to school near Halifax, and
thence, on his approving himself a lad of parts, transferred, in 1733, to Jesus college,
Cambridge, where, in 1736 and 1740 respectively, he took the degrees of bachelor and
master of arts. He was educated for the church, and on his leaving the university, his
uncle the rev. Jaques Sterne, an ecclesiastical dignitary of some magnitude, procured
for him the living of Sutton in Yorkshire With this relative hs afterward quarreled,
but not before another appointment had been secured him as prebendary of York cathe-
dral. In 1741, he was married to a lady whom he met in York, and soon after, through
the influence of a friend of his wife, he was presented to the additional living of Still-
ington. For nearly 20 years he lived at Sutton unheard of. That his devotion to 1m
clerical duties was great, is more than can be supposed from what we know of his char-
acter; and we can readily believe the "books, painting, fiddling, and shooting," which
he tells us were his choice recreations, formed pretty much the business of his life. Up
to the year 1759, in which the first two volumes of his Tristram Shandy appeared, he
had published only two sermons, which, according to his own statement, " found neither
purchasers nor readers." Tristram ShdJidy, which, though published without his name,
was from the first known to be his, had instant and immense success, and Sterne, on
going up to London, found himself the literary lion of the day. In 1761, two more
volumes of it appeared, followed by vols. 5 and 6 in 1762, vols. 7 and 8 in 1765, and in
1767 by the 9th and last. During this period he also issued 4 vols. of sermons, and the
Sentimental Journey, published in the beginning of 1768, completes the list of his works.
He died on March 18 of that year, his health having been much, impaired for some con-
siderable time.

From the time of his becoming famous his parishioners saw of Sterne but little. He
lived mostly either on the continent or in London, where his literary celebrity made him
welcome in* the best circles. Always an easy, mercurial kind of mortal, he now led some-


what a gay and dissipated life, rather modelled on the epicurean maxim of enjoying the
present hour, than on those more serious precepts he had been wont to enforce from the
pulpit. But except that he does not seem to have been excessively devoted to his own
wife she and her daughter being in these pleasant years but little with him and was
a little of a sentimental Lothario in respect of the wives of other people, no very great
harm is known of him. He is said, despite of the exquisite sentiment which abounds in
his writings, to have been really heartless, and unfeeling; and the sneer of Walpole that
he could snivel over a dead ass, to the neglect of his live mother, is familiar to almost
every one. It is in fairness, however, to be said that the implied slander rests on no dis-
tinct basis of evidence.

Whatever question may be made of the worth of Sterne as a man, there can be none
of his genius as a writer. Tristram Shandy, his chief work, must live as long as the lan-
guage, were it only in virtue of the three characters of Old Shandy, Uncle Toby, and
Trim, the most perfect and exquisite, perhaps, in the whole range of British fiction.
These are genuine creations, at once fantastic and real, in which the subtlest reconcile-
ment is effected between the sportive exuberance of fancj r and the sober outlines of truth.
Otherwise there is a good deal in the work which needs excuse; in particular a most
willful and gratuitous indecency almost without a parallel, and a constant trick of Inw-
less and whimsical digression, to the endless incalculable frivolities of which even the
inimitable grace, ease, and tricksy flexibility of the style can with difficulty reconcile
the reader. The humor of Sterne is notwithstanding the most subtle, airy, delicate, and
tender to be found in our literature; and in many passages he shows himself master of
a pathos equally exquisite and refined. The fullest, and in every way, best account of
Sterne will be found in his Life, in 2 vols., by Mr. Percy Fitzgerald, published in 1864.
Though against the charge of unclerical levity, at once in his writings and his life, it is
impossible to defend Sterne, except as the laxer morale of his time may afford some
slight palliation of it, a candid perusal of this work suggests a considerably more kindly
view of his character than that which had previously been current and almost accepted.

STEBNHOLD, THOMAS, one of the authors of the English version of psalms formerly
attached to the book of common prayer, was a native of Hampshire, and born toward
the close of the 15th century. He held the office of groom of the robes to Henry VIII.
and Edward VI., and died in 1549. At the reformation period, when the practice of
singing metrical psalms first introduced by Clement Maro among the gay courtiers of
Francis I. came to be taken up by the reformers, Sterne undertook to render the whole
book of psalms into English verse. He only lived to complete twenty-one psalms; and

Online LibraryFrancis LieberLibrary of universal knowledge. A reprint of the last (1880) Edinburgh and London edition of Chambers' encyclopaedia, with copious additions by American editors (Volume 13) → online text (page 189 of 203)