THE GOLDEN BOOK

Junius advances a positive claim for the city of Haarlem to the credit for the invention of printing. He says he obtained the information on which his story is based from aged residents of Haarlem of good reputa- tion. Lourens Ianszoon Coster (Caster meaning church

warden or sexton) lived in Haarlem 123 years earlier [I440], and members of his family were still living there. One day, while walking in the forest, he whittled letters from the bark of trees and found, by impressing them on paper, that they made a print of the letters. Hav- ing a keen mind, this first essay led him to attempt greater things. With the help of his son-in-law, he invented a superior kind of black ink. This son-in-law, Thomas Petrus, had four children, who have all held positions of honor. Then Laurentius began to make pictures and to illustrate or perhaps explain them with printed words. Junius had seen some of his first works along this line. The leaves were printed on one side only. The book was written in our own tongue and entitled Speculum nostrae selutis. With such books it was the custom to paste the blank sides together so that they might not appear un- pleasing. The essence of the story continues thus:

Then he substituted lead forms for the wooden ones; still

later he made them of tin that they might be more resistant and durable. The old wine pots which were manufactured from

these tin forms, are still in the house of Laurentius [Lourens]. This house was occupied by his great grandchild Gerrit Thomaszoon, a prominent and excellent citizen, who died only a few years ago at a ripe old age.

The new invention spread rapidly because of the readiness

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