In celebrating the bibliophile and historian Theodor Goebel’s 70th year as a printer, The Inland Printer referred to him as the Nestor of typography in Germany. Bigmore and Wyman, vol. 1, describes Goebel as “one of the most earnest and accomplished among German students of the history and antiquities of printing. In addition to this, he is a sound practical printer”
The author of several distinguished volumes, Goebel angered traditionalists when he brought printing history up-to-date with Die graphischen Künste der Gegenwart [The Graphic Arts of the Present Time] in 1895. Five years later, Goebel lent his essay Erlauterungen zur Sammlung von Musterdrucken auf Strassburger Specialpapieren [Elucidation on a Collection of Sample Prints on Strasbourg Special Papers] to a wonderful specimen book prepared by the Strasbourg Neue Papier Manufactur.
For the first time, a copy of this extraordinary volume has reach the United States and can be found in the Graphic Arts Collection at Firestone Library.
The book is a “state of the art” survey of printing techniques to the turn of the last century, including etching, engraving, photogravure, heliogravure, phototypies, lichtdruck or collotype, autotype, lithography, chromolithography, and much more. There are examples of paper for playing cards in color (spielkarten), maps in color (landkartendruck) and other special papers.
Near the end is an astonishing progressive series of lithographic proofs showing a bird’s eye view of the actual Neue Papier factory.