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Thomas Cogan and The Haven of Health: Printing and Creation

Array ( [0] => HIST 3250 Spring 2015 [1] => no-show [2] => student exhibit )

Printing and Creation

The Haven of Health: Title Page
Title Page

Thomas Orwin printed this edition of The Haven of Health in 1588. Although he had his own printing devices, the device used on the title page is not one he commonly used. [1] Printing devices were woodblock designs that distinguished publishers and booksellers from their competitors. [2]  The barrel with the letters "nor" and the letter "W" underneath indicate this device belonged to the bookseller William Norton. 

The book appears to be printed on paper as opposed to parchment or vellum.

Orwin began his printing career in London as an apprentice to Thomas Purfoot. When his predecessor George Robinson passed away in the 1580s, Orwin married Robinson's widow and took over his business. [3]


Page 99: Thomas Cogan's Haven of Health

An example of the red coloring along the edge of each page.

Each page in the book has a red colored edge. This technique of coloring the edges was used to prevent the pages from becoming dirty or damaged. [4] The pages are still in excellent condition for being over 400 years old, and the colored edges have helped maintain their integrity. Although preservation was the primary purpose for edge coloring, this technique was also used as a means of decoration. The process of edge coloring is done by mixing oil and a material such as Armenian Bole (a red clay) and carefully applying the mixture in order to protect and color the edges. [5]



[1] "Printing in England from William Caxton to Christopher Barker," Special Collections, Accessed April 2, 2015, http://special.lib.gla.ac.uk/exhibns/printing.

[2] Richard W. Clement, "Medieval and Renaissance Book Production - Printed Books," Part 2, Medieval and Renaissance Book Production - Printed Books. Accessed April 7, 2015, http://www.the-orb.net/encyclop/culture/books/medbook2.html.

[3]"Printing in England."

[4] Paul N. Hasluck, "- About Bookbinding -," Coloring Book Edges : Bookbinding by Paul Hasluck, Accessed April 2, 2015, http://www.aboutbookbinding.com/bookbinding/Coloring-Book-Edges.html.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Clement, "Medieval and Renaissance Book Production," Part 2.

[7] "On The Relation Between Diabetes And Food, And Its Application To The Treatment Of The Disease by Arthur Donkin," The British Medical Journal 2, no. 770 (1875): 429-30.