From: Philippe Verdy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon May 07 2007 - 04:14:06 CDT
> Frank Ellermann wrote :
> > Rick McGowan wrote:
> > > A plum is a very difficult fruit with which to draw.
> > "Plume" is the French word for "quill" - I wasn't sure
> > what Philippe is getting at. Nothing about "hot type"
> > with "plumb" if my dictionary got it right.
You're right, I initially meant "quill" or "feather" in English (i.e.
"plume" in French), sorry for the confusion.
Peter Constable wrote:
> Well, in the days of hot type, both type and plumbing were done with
Other tools used where carved pieces of very solid wood, from trees (like
chestnuts, walnuts...) or from some very resistant shrubs or flowers with
persistant feet (like brambles, mulberry-trees, roses) : easy to build
yourself, virtual no cost as it is easy to find.
With these tools, it is difficult to write in every direction, the lines
drawn were mostly straight with a predominant direction, and it is nearly
impossible to draw a sharp angle cleanly without breaking the head or
spreading ink everywhere.
Such drawing tools are still used by artists because of their texture.
I hope you don't mean the "lead" metal in English ("plomb" in French) which
was used for printing types. The tool used by house builders and architects
or joiners (cabinet makers) to draw a vertical line on a wall or align the
construction of a piece of furniture, or to run a mechanical clock, or
placed below a naval ship to stabilize it on water, is a "plumb" (probably
same origin as "plomb" in French, because it was the metal used in the heavy
weight hung on a string to draw a vertical line.)
(The term "plomb" is used to designate many things in French, built with
lead metal only because of its weight and the ease to work with it in small
pieces, including for firearms pellets and bullets, fishing...)
Today, modern quills built in various metallic alloys are much more
versatile and resistant than the famous "Sergent Major" quill which was so
difficult to masterize by generations of French children (up to the 1960's).
Cheap "Bic" ballpoint pens were finally accepted in primary schools, to
avoid ink bottles on desktops, except for artistic courses on calligraphy.
But using a quill, with internal disposable reservoirs, was still mandatory
in many French highs schools for exams and home works up to the early
1980's. Unlike in USA, crayons are not accepted here, except for arts and
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