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An Offer to Teachers

  Lighthouses have been an important part of Michigan’s history. There are more lighthouses in Michigan than any other state. Our state has 3200 miles of shoreline plus many rocks and shoals that require marking with “offshore” lighthouses.

  Lighthouses were a navigational system of yesteryear and re­placed today by the technological advance of the global Positioning System (GPS). They offer an interesting glimpse of the past; ship­ping, our industries and the role that commerce has played in the development of our great state and nation. Lighthouses are often used in teaching Michigan history, geography and the Great Lakes.

  When publishing my book, Michigan Lighthouses, An Aerial Photographic Perspective, there were several book parts I saved and shipped from the bindery in Nashville, TN, with the intent of distributing them to teachers and schools for classroom use. If you or your school wish to acquire any of this material, you may ar­range to visit, inspect and select whatever you choose. There is no charge if you pick up the material.


  The “book blocks” and “casings,” dust jackets, 12 page signa­tures and printed flat sheets that were either left over, seconds or have some other minor flaws. The book block is the stitched portion of the 168 page body of the book—the text portion—without the cover or the casing. Teachers may use them in whatever manner they wish—cutting up and distributing pages, use as a reference, classroom projects or whatever.


  If you wish me to ship one or more of these samples, please send $5.00 for shipping (the cost) and another dollar for each ad­ditional book.

Contact me at: Cel 517-402-8193, 209 Oxford Road, East Lan­sing, MI 48823-2626 or email. I hope they serve your students and classes. I’m happy to share this material with you which could be­come a relevant supplement to your teaching!

  Kindest regards, John L. Wagner

3. The folded pages are sewn on a “Smyth” sewing machine that stitches and holds the pages together in position.

4. All 12-page signatures are "collated," meaning they are gathered together in proper order (there are 14 signatures). This task is most often automated, but due to the large size of this book, this process must be done by hand. Each signature is placed vertically in sequence along a conveyor belt / assembly line. The bindery refers to this as having "14-12's", meaning there are 14 signatures of 12 pages each. A math problem! Fourteen times twelve = 168 pages in the book!

5. Casing: is the book’s “hard cover" (there are hard and soft cover books), and has to be built. The casing consists of:
      a. Binder board, "120 point" (120 thousands thick), cardboard “treated” to prevent warpage.
      b. Fabric cover, Permlin Irish Linen (made in England) is glued to the binder board (first printing).
      c. Spine of the casing, has a "square back" construction consisting of a strip of binder board.
     d. Debossing with foil. The lighthouse image and the name of the book (in the second printing) is stamped onto the outside cover and the spine of the book with a powerful machine containing a "die" and a thin white foil, leaving an impression of the lighthouse in the cover and the name on the spine.
6. Book Block:
     a. "Back gluing" operation; glues all 14 signatures together along with a muslin fabric to add strength.
     b. Trimming operation; book pages are cut to size by a giant knife that holds and slices off the excess paper.
     c. "Headbands" (little pieces of blue and white fabric) are attached to the top and bottom of the spine and hide the open gap between the case and the book block.


Book Construction
Parts of the Book

1. Printed Page: The printed pages (28x40") arrive from the printer and must be folded. Note the upside down layout in the center of the printed page. This is called "page imposition." When the sheet is folded correctly, all the pages come out right-side up!

2. There are six pages of the book on each side of the printed sheet. The sheet is printed on both sides, resulting in a total of 12 pages. These 12 pages are called a "signature."

7. Casing-in of the book: brings the book block and the casing together. This process has been automated by a machine. The standard machine goes to 9x101/2", Nicholstone Bindery (the bindery of Michigan Lighthouses in Nashville, Tennessee) has a specially built machine that can handle a book up to 9x12". My book is too large (11x14") for automatic machine and must be done by a hand operation using specialty machines. Defective books: I envision ladies on the assembly line smoking cigarettes & sipping coffee in between operations and occasionally something happens!

8. End sheets: The end sheets connect and hold the cover (casing) and the body (book block) of the book together. The end sheet consists of one folded sheet of paper, giving it four sides, numbered pages 1 & 2 and 3 & 4. There are two end sheets, one in the front and one in the back of the book.
     a. Page 1 of the front-end sheet glues to the binder board (cover).
     b. Page 2 faces out
     c. Page 3 flips
     d. Page 4 “tips” (glues) to the first signature
9. Hinge joint is formed. It is "nipped in the joint." This is also a hand operation because of the size of the book. The automated standard machine can handle up to 9x12" at the Nicholstone Bindery. This book is 11x14."
10. Dust jackets (the outside paper cover with a clear plastic coating for durability) are installed.
11. Shrink-wrapped or "polly-bagged" books are wrapped in a clear plastic to protect them in shipping and handling until sold. The books are packaged in boxes of 10 with a two inch styrofoam block centered on the bottom and the books are stacked alternately to relieve stress on the binding and then loaded on wooden skids for shipping by motor freight (truck).

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