The Long S in the Sydney Gazette ..

The Sydney Gazette story of Captain Hasselborough’s demise is interesting typographically for its use of the long s.

In the handwriting of the time the long s was only really used as the first s of double s in a word, Haſselborough, rather than Hasselborough.

However, a lot of English typesetters of the time stuck to an older set of rules, which basically meant that the long s was used where we would use a round s, except at the end of the word, so Haſſelburgh instead of Haſselburgh for Hasselburgh and Perſeverance Bay for Perseverance Bay.

Apparently some typesetters in the early nineteenth century switched to following the normal handwritten usage, but quite a few did not.

Sydney was of course a small isolated settlement, six months by ship from England, so it’s not surprising that eighteenth century typesetting practices should persist into the early nineteenth century.

About dgm

Former IT professional, previously a digital archiving and repository person, ex research psychologist, blogger, twitterer, and amateur classical medieval and nineteenth century historian ...
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