Taiwan craftsman seeks to save printing heritage (AP)

In this photo taken on July 22, 2010, Chang Chieh-kuan, 58, looks for imperfections in his Chinese character type which means "happiness" at his Ri Xing Type Foundry in Taipei, Taiwan. In the nearly extinct world of movable type, crowded out by digital printing, Chang's foundry is one of the last making traditional Chinese characters the old way, a craft that dates back almost a millennium. While time consuming and labor intensive, Chang said it brings out the grandeur of the characters. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

Taiwan craftsman seeks to save printing heritage
Associated Press
2010-08-23 08:13 AM

Hunched over a metal casting machine, Chang Chieh-kuan carefully guides a tiny copper mold into a hydraulic press. Seconds later he extracts a piece of lead type with the Chinese character for "happiness."

That's one down, thousands more to go in a last-ditch effort by this 58-year-old craftsman to rescue the millennium-old world of Chinese lead type from the advance of the digital age.

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