What is a Printer's Devil?

From the beginning of the printing trade, there was a convenient belief perpetuated by journeymen that a special devil haunted every print shop. This entity inverted type. misspelled words or removed entire lines from press-ready pages. Hence, all the above typos were blamed on the apprentice or "printer's devil" who looked the part. Black was associated with the "black arts, and he was usually covered with black ink from mixing it and washing presses. An apprentice was janitor, booze runner and a slave to journeyman printers.

Printer's Composing Stick - In letterpress printing and typesetting, a composing stick is an instrument used to assemble pieces of metal type into words and lines which are later bound into a forme, set in a galley and printed. Some composing sticks had one adjustable end allowing the length of the lines and consequent width of the page or column to be set, with spaces of different sizes being used to make up the exact width. Other early composing sticks were fixed to the width of a newspaper column, when newspapers were still composited by hand.