Damping the sheets in order that they may he rendered more pliant and receive the impression more thoroughly. Having received a certain amount of paper from the warehouseman, the pressman lays one heap on the shelf attached to the wetting (rough, laying the first token across the heap with the back of the quires towards his right hand, that he may know when to turn the token sheet, and that he may more readily catch at the back of each quire with that hand, for the purpose of dipping it. He then places the paper-board with its breadth before him on his right, on a table, laying a wrapper or a waste sheet of paper on the board, to prevent soiling the first sheet of the heap, he then takes a quire by the centre of the back with his right hand, and the edge of it in his left, and, closing his hands a little, that the quire may bend downward between his hands, he dips the back of the quire into the left-side of the trough, and, relinquishing his hold with the left hand, draws the paper briskly through the water with his right. As the quire comes out, he quickly catches the edge of it again in his left hand, and brings it to the heap, and, by lifting his left hand, bears the underside of the quire off the paper previously laid down, till he has placed the quire in an even position, he lays the back of it exactly upon the open crease of the former, and then lets the side of the quire in his left hand fall flat down upon the heap, and, discharging his right hand, brings it to the edge of the quire, and, with the assistance of his left thumb, still in its first position, opens or divides either a third or a halt of the quire, according to the quality of the paper; then, spreading the fingers of his right hand as much as he can through the length of the quire, turns over his opened division of it upon his right-hand side of the heap.
Having wet his first token, he doubles down a corner of the upper sheet of it on upon his right hand, so that the farther corner may be a little toward the left of the crease in the middle of the heap, and the other corner may hang out on the near side of the heap, about an inch and a half. This sheet is called the token sheet, being a mark for the pies-man, when he is at work, to show how many tokens of that heap are worked off. Having wet the whole heap, he lays a wrapper, or waste sheet of paper, upon it; then, three or tour times, take, up as much water as he can in the hollow of his hand, and throws it over the waste sheet, to moisten and soak downward into the wet part of the last division of the quire; after which, he places in the heap the label which the warehouseman must always furnish for each heap, and upon which are written the title of the work and the date of wetting, one-hall hanging out so as to be easily read.
Damping the sheets to be printed, in order that they may be softer when applied to the type or woodcut, and consequently receive the impression more readily. The process is as follows:
Take a quire of paper by the centre of the back with the right hand, and the edge of it with the left, and closing the hands a little, that the quire may bend downward between them, dip the back of the quire into the left hand side of the trough, and relinquishing the hold with the left hand, draw the quire briskly through the water with the right. As the quire comes out, quickly catch the edge of it again in the left hand, and bring it to the heap, and by lifting the left hand, bear the under side of the quire off the paper previously laid down till the quire is placed in an even position. To do this lay the back of the quire exactly upon the open crease of the former, and then let the side of the quire on the left hand fall flat down upon the heap, and discharging the right hand, bring it to the edge of the quire, and with the assistance of the left thumb, still in its first position, open or divide either a third or a half of the quire, according to the thickness of the paper; then, spreading the fingers of the right hand as much as possible through the length of the quire, turn over the opened division of it upon the right hand side of the heap. Machines for wetting paper are now used in most large printing offices.