The Museum of Printing, Haverhill, Massachusetts

15 Thornton Ave., Haverhill, MA · PO Box 5580, Beverly, MA 01915

Anatomy of ATF Type

What is a Type Foundry? A company that makes type.


One of the foremost in the US was American Type Foundries (ATF), founded in 1892 when 23 independent type foundries consolidated. These foundries were brought together for several reasons, one being that the Linotype, which produced a line of type, was introduced a few years earlier and was cutting into the sales of hand set type. Another was that the type produced by the various foundries was not systematic — point sizes and baselines varied between companies.

ATF standardized type. Nineteen-twenty-nine was the company’s most profitable year. From there it only declined and its number of typeface offerings did as well. In the early 1950s phototype was on its way of taking over as the predominant typesetting method, cutting into foundry type’s profits even more. In 1958 ATF introduced a phototypesetting machine along with variety of faces on phototypesetting discs.  |  Read more >

New Building Update

We are in possession of the new (well, new to us) building in Haverhill — 15 Thornton Avenue, Haverhill, MA 01832, to be exact [map]. Renovations are underway to make this a world class printing museum — and we have visited many throughout the world to compare and inspire. We’re currently replacing the 40 year old linoleum with richer, feet-easy materials. A wall has to come down to give us better flow and an expanded store. View our progress >

Our first open library will have comfortable seating, video screens for historic graphic arts movies, and we will be able to continuously open to members. The second library will house the Linotype library as well as other historic materials — our font masters, rare books and memorabilia in a secure airy space. The second library is being fully funded by a generous individual donation.

We are asking your help by donating to the rest of the renovations or fully funding individual projects such as new, detailed signage and self-guided tour materials, exterior paint and roof maintenance. Read our contribution overview (pdf) and make a secure donation online.

Coming in 2016:


  • Summer – TBA
  • Sat., September 24th
  • Sat., November 19th

A Night at the Museum with PINE
(Printing Industries of New England)

6pm Tuesday, September 13

The Last TANY Reunion
(Typographers Association of NY)

September 16–18

APHA New England

Saturday, December 3rd
Lunch and Meeting

APHA Lieberman Memorial Lecture
Noted type designer: Matthew Carter

The Museum will now display the Fowler, Hogan, Hidy, as well as new exhibits.

With more conference rooms, we can now host company meetings, events, dinners, and receptions.

  • Front conference room: 6–8 people
  • Typographic Library: 14 people
  • Main meeting room: 50–60 people
  • Romano Library: 8–10 people
  • Gallery: receptions and dinners for 40–60 people

Remembering Hermann Zapf (November 8, 1918–June 4, 2015)

By Frank Romano

Hermann Zapf was the preeminent worldwide typeface designer and calligrapher who lived in Darmstadt, Germany. He was married to calligrapher and typeface designer Gudrun Zapf von Hesse. His typefaces include Palatino and Optima.

I first met him in 1960. I was the mail boy at the Mergenthaler Linotype Company in Brooklyn, NY and was delivering the mail to his cubicle on the 8th floor. He was adapting Palatino for the Linofilm. One day I got up the nerve to ask “Mr Zapf, what do you do?” He replied, “I correct the errors of my youth.” For example, the lowercase y had a curved calligraphic descender. He straightened it out. Those who stole Palatino from the hot metal version had something different from those who stole it from the phototype­setting version.

Read more >

Special tours and museum rental are available by contacting Kim Pickard,

Download our Letterpress Presses poster
(pdf format, 1.8 MB)
right-click or control-click (Mac) for download option

Museum of Printing poster

Download our Image Carrier Poster
(pdf format, 684 KB)
right-click or control-click (Mac) for download option

Image Carrier poster

Find us on Facebook   Follow The Museum of Printing on Twitter

Mass. Cultural CouncilThe Museum of Printing is supported in part by grants from Boxford, Georgetown, Groveland, Haverhill & Merrimack Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a State Agency.


We will reopen in our new building in Haverhill in Summer 2016.

Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children, students and seniors. No charge for members.

Showing the Linotype Demonstration by students of North Bennett St. School Demonstration