30 years ago in Chemistry in Britain

30 years ago in Chemistry in Britain 

Reg Whiting has retired from the printers, Richard Clay and Co Ltd, after 30 years service. He started work on the Journal of the Chemical Society  in 1948, when all the society’s chemical papers were published in that one journal. 

A new format commenced in 1966: double column and published as Perkin I Transactions Perkin II Transactions  and Dalton Transactions  . Mr Whiting estimates that since commencing work on Chemical Society publications in 1948 he has produced approximately 180 000 pages of chemistry text.  

Reg can recall the days when all chemical formulae were produced by hand, rather than by artwork, a complete section of the case-room being given over for the task. 

Chemistry in Britain  (June 1978) 

Flashback ed: It is interesting to compare the 6000 Chemical Society journal pages produced per year during the career of Reg Whiting with the RSC’s current annual journal page output of about 42,000 pages. From a single journal in 1948, the RSC now publishes more than 20 titles. 

It is a far cry from the hot-metal typesetting and preparation of chemical structures in metal blocks in Reg’s day to the computerised production systems of today, which not only produce printed journal pages but also enable rapid publication on the Society’s website. Times to publication on the web now average only a few weeks; in 1970s the average time to publication could be as high as 18 months.  

All 180,000 pages typeset by Reg during his long career at Clay’s are included in the RSC Journal Archive