You inspire me to...write in code like a printer

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Printing and printing presses had an important role in Bradford’s history.

Before printing presses were used, everything had to be written out by hand and couldn’t be copied easily.

In a printing press, letter ‘blocks’ were put together to make up words and sentences; but all back to front! The blocks were then covered with ink and a sheet of paper put on top.

This was put through a roller or press to make sure the ink went onto the paper. When the paper was taken off, the back to front letters could be seen the right way round.

It was quite tricky being a printer as you needed to be able to read back to front and upside down to work the printing presses!

You can have a go at trying to read and write backwards.


What do I need?
  • A pen
  • Paper
  • A mirror
What am I doing?
  • Trying to write backwards! Decide what you would like to write. You could start with your name.
  • Start on the right hand side of the paper and write the first letter back to front. Write the next letter to the left of your first one and continue like this until you have written your whole name/word.
  • You can check if you’ve done it correctly using a mirror. It is tricky to remember to form your letters back to front!
Hints and Tips
  • It might be helpful to have a copy of the alphabet written out to help you think about how to form your letters backwards!
  • You can create longer messages for other people in your house – can they read them without a mirror? Can they write back to front messages for you to read ?
  • You can challenge yourself by trying to write backwards without

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