Daily Archives: September 2, 2021

Baby books


Books from these early days are called incunabula. I love this word. Incunabulum is the singular form. It’s a Latin word that literally means ‘swaddling clothes,’ what they used to wrap newborn babies in. Think of a baby in a cradle or a crib. I think the swaddling clothes or the cradle are supposed to be the early printing business. The baby is the book. Book production in its infancy. Incunabula were the cradle of book-printing, like the Tigris-Euphrates valley is the cradle of Western Civilization, or Olduvai Gorge is the cradle of human evolution, or Massachusetts is the cradle of marshmallow and peanut butter sandwiches.
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/incunabulum
https://www.worldwidewords.org/weirdwords/ww-inc1.htm
Do they still make this stuff? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluffernutter
Here is a timeline of early printing: https://www.prepressure.com/printing/history/1400-1499
https://www.ndl.go.jp/incunabula/e/chapter3/index.html

Back to the beginning of The Western Civ User’s Guide to Reading & Writing.

Don’t forget: I wrote another Western Civ User’s Guide! Back to the beginning of The Western Civ User’s Guide to Time & Space.