Yesterday's Technology . . . Today!

British Print Union Cards 1946-1993

Many thanks to John Bowles for sending in his father's collection of London print union membership cards dating from 1946-1993.

THIS VIDEO is a run through of Dave Bowles old union membership cards from 1946 to 1993.

I find these cards interesting on several fronts. Firstly the design of the cards, displaying the typographical fashions of that particular era.

Also the story they tell. The first few cards, you will notice, are marked "Apprentice." Also the date entered service date is displayed on many of the cards. I believe some London Fleet Street jobs were allocated on a seniority basis.

I've noticed the cards for the early 1980s look a little dog-eared. That was a very turbulant period for London compositors, with Rupert Murdoch, and new technology, challenging their power. Have the cards from that period been worn out through having to carry them to attend various meetings, pickets, etc. Who knows?

THIS second video is a little less "stylised" and gives a better view of the cards.

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