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Re: [BKARTS] Trends and influences



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Thought you might be interested in this piece - information about the
“bullet” printing, which Evans did in 1841 (best use for them from my point
of view) in what was to later become Alberta, Canada.

“When the invention had been made*, the first thought was how to utilize it
for the benefit of the Indians. There was no printing press, type or paper,
and it was impossible to get any. Naturally enough the Hudson’s Bay Company
officials objected to the introduction of a printing press, lest that mighty
censor of modern times, the newspaper, should find a location within the
domains of the Company, and a powerful antagonist to its interests arise.
The missionary, ever fertile in resources, whittled his first type from
blocks of wood with his pocket-knife, made ink from the soot of the chimney,
and printed his first translations upon birch-bark. Afterward he made
moulds, and taking the lead from the tea chests and old bullets, cast his
first leaden type from these. ---- The aged minister has now in his
possession in his home in London, Ontario, some of the original type made by
James Evans from tea lead and bullets. He has also some old books made of
birch-bark, and others made of paper, printed in Cree syllabic characters
and bound by the inventor himself.”

*Cree syllabics

"James Evans Inventor of the Syllabic System of the Cree Language" by John
McLean, Moosejaw, Assiniboia, March 10th 1890, pp 166-168.

Special Collections at the University of Calgary has one of these early
birch-bark books.

Merle

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