Landscape logo with the word Bookshapers and, below it, Anna Faherty & Judith Watts




Stylised illustration of two women working at a large machine: the pianotype

In which Anna and Judith uncover a publishing innovation that promised to spark a revolution – but didn’t. Expect the spectre of automation, invisible women, union disputes, rock-star pianists and a new take on the sound of typesetting.

The Anatomy of Sleep was the first book ever typeset by machine. By the time of the second edition, it was set by hand. Today, the machine that made it is virtually unknown. So what happened?

These illustrations of the pianotype featured in the Mechanics’ Magazine in June 1842:

Illustration of the front pianotype from the Mechanics MagazineIllustration of the back of the pianotype from the Mechanics Magazine

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