Books and Printing and Mormons. Part 4.

I don’t want to jump into Mormon printing just yet. It’s a large subject with many interesting aspects. Here I want to mention how some of what I’ve covered so far applies to Mormon works and collections. The terms “recto,” “verso,” “leaf,” “page,” and “folio” are usually appropriated to manuscripts in a way analogous to their use in defining parts of a book.
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Books and Printing and Mormons. Part 3.

When a typesetter/printer talks about space between lines in a book the classical term is leading (placing “leads” between lines). Expressed in points it will usually read larger than the font size. A 12/14 system means 12pt font, 14pt leading. In a book, the normal line length is called the measure. This may be expressed numerically. Like 10/1120. This indicates the book is typeset in a 10pt font, 11pt leading, 20 pica measure. A pica is 12 points (yeah, it’s not base ten folks). A pica is indicated by suffix pc, such as 33pc. 10pc = 120pt.
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Books and Printing and Mormons. Part 2.

Type is a character you put on a page via a sort. A sort is a piece of lead you can use to put a type character on a page by inking it first and then pressing it onto the page. See part 1 for the meaning of page. “Type” gets used as a modifier in all sorts of ways (ok that was a bad one). Like, type setter, designer, cutter, or type foundry.
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Books and Printing and Mormons. Part 1.

I like books and I enjoy the physicality of a book. The cover, the pages and the various special properties that define these things. Just for fun, I’m going to educate the ignorant and open myself to criticism of the educated. So feel free to take your best shot.
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King Follett and Stuff.

So I promised something on King Follett. Because of BCC persecution, I put it over there.

Nauvoo Food Budget ~1844

So, feeding a family of five in Nauvoo, 1844. How much would it cost you? Here is a very rough approximation, assuming you could buy this stuff at market prices, and assuming these were fairly uniform (both false economies).

Butcher: 2lbs per day at 10 cents per pound: $1.40
Barrel of flour, $5.00, lasts about 8 weeks: 0.63
Butter, 2lbs, 31.5 cents per pound: 0.63
Potatoes, .5 bushel: 0.50
Sugar, 4 lbs at 8 cents a pound: 0.32
Coffee and Tea (yes they did use it): 0.25
Milk, 2 cents per day: 0.14
Salt, pepper, vinegar, starch, soap, soda
yeast, cheese, eggs 0.40
Total for the week: abt. $4.27.

Most in Nauvoo had gardens and these would supplement vegetable intake, though mainly the poor ate vegetables. Many had milk cows so milk and butter came at the price of effort and feed stock.

In a city, other living expenses (clothes, housing and other similar expenses) might total about $6.00. So for the week, cost of living was roughly $10.00.

Let’s say you’re a day laborer. What percentage of wages went to retail food in a week: about 80%. By 1860 this was about 75%. By 1900, about 45%. By 1930, 15%. Food got cheaper.

Publication Note: Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church Volume 3.

The BYU Religious Studies Center has published the third volume in Peter Crawley’s A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church.

This volume covers the period from 1853-1857 and is the final volume in the series. The book covers those materials printed with one or more pages that bear on some Church matter. Articles in newspapers, maps, prints, banknotes and ephemeral pieces are not included.

These volumes are the most important contributions to early LDS print culture and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

Available at

Amazon:

$54.84 (free shipping).
ISBN: 978-0-8425-2810-8

Construction, dust jacket and size match the previous two volumes. Essentially for anyone interested in early Mormon imprints or Mormon history from 1830-1857.

James Edward Talmage. Superman.

[Cross-posted at By Common Consent.]

James E. Talmage, a name that lives in legend among LDS missionaries for the last 60 years, was British born and converted to Mormonism in 1873. Talmage was a talented scholar from childhood. After emigrating to the US he ended up finishing four years at Lehigh in one year and went on to Johns Hopkins in 1883. Ph.D. at Illinois Weslayan even though he wasn’t in residence. At home in Provo, he was a city councilman and then judge. (Some of his court cases are a crackup.)
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Summer Review: Albert Brisbane — Joseph Smith and Eschatology

Another Oldie.

This post has been sitting around for a while, has something to do with Joseph Smith’s sermons, and in particular funeral sermons, because it poses some questions on the idea of community and eschatology, and I don’t have time to work on it more right now, so here it is.

Mormon communal adventures of the 19th century played out against a range of American civil experimentation. A major difference was the underlying eschatology of Mormonism.

Joseph Smith pushed (via revelations like Doctrine and Covenants 42) the idea of community into the lives of early Mormons, but he also pushed it into the afterlife (an early version of this is D&C 78:6 – later versions were based on sealing). Echoing Swedenborg (by coincidence rather than intent it seems) he infused doctrine with community and family. Read more of this post

Summer Review: Is Reality Consistent With First Order Predicate Calculus?

The whole of science is based on answering yes to that question. But what about religion? At least from Augustine to Aquinas, people hoped the answer was yes. Of course they wouldn’t have used the same terminology.
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The Summer Review: “In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”

It’s summer. The crush of events at work and at home means I’ll be posting some items from the past for a while. I’m starting with one of most consistently popular things to ever appear here. So here you go, back from the archives:

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Mormons end virtually every public sermon, testimony, lesson, prayer, etc. with these words. Why? A number of scriptural justifications could be offered. But I’m more interested in the sermon angle. After sitting through the Saturday conference sessions, I wondered when this tradition started in Utah Mormonism. It doesn’t seem to be shared by other Joseph Smith-based faith traditions, at least that I can see with a cursory review. It was not used regularly as a sermon tag line in Nauvoo. And believe me, I’ve looked at that. (But see Joseph’s blessing ending on April 13, 1843 for example.)
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Stemmata for the Funeral Sermons of Joseph Smith

Here’s an example for one of the funeral sermons.

Preaching event at the top. Arrows represent text dependence.

This particular sermon was published in full a comparatively large number of times. The more times in print the more complicated the variorum. In this particular case, one excerpt has appeared (just in recent years) over a hundred times in Church conferences and literature. That is rather unusual and somewhat odd, given the earth shaking stuff you *could* come up with. The stemma reveals the most influential editor: MS2. It is not always easy to identify the real editor of published Church documents and in the typesetting era often more than one set of hands dealt with a given text like this one. Complete texts of Joseph Smith’s sermons tend to be published by the Church at large during in a cycle very similar to this one. Aside from reprinting certain standard imprints like Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and a few independently published versions of the sermons, new “official” imprints stopped after 1952.
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Joseph Smith Papers Journals Vol. 2 Collectors Edition

This one is now available in the leather format of vol. 1 and the volumes in the other series (except for Histories). At $165, it’s expensive, but if your tastes run that way, there are 394 numbered copies. Go for it here.

Mormon History Association: Summer Meetings in Calgary

Click Here.

Some additions to BoAP.org

We have added a few items to the website:

First, a couple of what I would characterize as Joseph Smith tract sermons. These are Times and Seasons editorials. I’ve been rather suspicious of these items and I’m still not sure of their value as JS documents, but I’ve come to the grudging conclusion that the particular entries we’ve added are JS productions. We’ve had an April 1, 1842 up for years and I would say that I’m somewhat more leery of it than the ones we’ve recently added. My new proverb, Approval is not the same as Production, applies to the April 1 entry, but it clearly does contain ideas from JS, though not I think, his dictation. The new entries may be somewhat closer to the mark. Time will perhaps tell.

Tract sermons were big business in the antebellum period and I think these qualify. Anyway, have fun reading there. You will find these in the Parallel Joseph under 1842. They are new entries in May and June I believe.

We have added a few more items to the Early Saints compilation, the most notable being the Joseph C. Kingsbury diaries/memoirs. These are merely links to the diary images but the script is very readable and the Nauvoo period is fun, especially the polygamy bits.

There you have it. By the way, if you have any typescripts of journals for individuals that were contemporary Mormons of Joseph Smith, we want to put them up for reading. You can email us at boap (at) boap (dot) org.

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