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Re: foxing (again)

At 10:31 PM 1/29/98 -0500, RJ Miller wrote:
>In my never-ending quest to understand I would like to relate the
>following for possible discussion:
>Foxing:  a pH problem?

>        But get this: These specks of  foxing seems to congregate in
>relation to the position of those letters stamped with a metallic (in
>this case gold) finish.  This leads me to wonder if the alkaline nature
>of metals has something to do with foxing, and whether highly alkaline
>papers tend to fox more frequently and with greater propensity than
>others.  Foxing is discriminatory, it happens to some but hardly all my
>books and/or dust jackets; it has yet to occur on books printed on pH
>neutral or "acid-free" paper.  Ergo, my inquiry.

I seem to have a remembrance of a lecture in a history oof the book course
that credited the "foxing" (in this regard the professor was referring to
small brown-red specks in the paper) as a function of impurities in the
water used to process the original paper. Such impurities as iron would
later be effected by moisture and would corrode, producing the visible
problem. I don't know if pH was determined to be a factor at that point in
time (although my class-time was suffered about 25 years ago and much has

It is my understanding that the browning of edges exposed to thge atmosphere
can be due to low pH in the paper stock combining with the chemicals in the
air to discolor the stock.

As an aside, a friend once visited Carroll Coleman at his Prairie Press in
Iowa City, Iowa and Coleman asked if he would extinguish his cigarette as
Coleman was concerned that the smoke might discolor his paper stock.

John G. Henry - Cedar Creek Press

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