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The Museum in the news
The Museum was “in the news” in a five page article in the May/June North Shore Magazine. You can read a PDF of the article here.
Pre-press materials wanted
Our curators are planning several exhibits on prepress operations from the 50s to the 90s, including an artist’s work station, platemaking department and proofing. We find we are embarrassingly low or completely missing film negatives, film halftones – both B&W and color — proofs, paste-ups, rubyliths, contact screens, registration punches, etc. If you can part with a few, please contact our executive director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We want to show how it was done before computers!
Befuddle the masses with a .918 bumper sticker. Join the in crowds like 26.2, 13.1 and 29.92. Order your 5 inch wide sticker by sending a check for $5 made out to the Museum of Printing to:
Museum of Printing
PO Box 5580
Beverly, MA 01950
Library of Type Specimens
Lovely collection of type in use from days of yore. You won’t find any drop shadows but there’s plenty of fine typography (via Vitaly Friedman at Smashing Magazine).
A lost typeface partially recovered
The Doves type was cast into the Thames a hundred years ago. This is one man’s quest to find it. Read more>
They came to the Fair
The 7th Annual Printing Arts Fair took place at the Museum of Printing on a sunny Father’s Day in 2010, punctuated by a very short rain shower. Many families were counted among the 400-plus attendees, who saw demonstrations of papermaking, stone lithography, intaglio printing, Ludlow and Linotype linecasting, and other book arts.
Over 30 exhibitors offered note books, cards, rare books, antique equipment, ephemera, and other articles. Children could print wood type and pictorial cuts as well as Father’s Day cards.
The centerpiece of the event was our steamroller printing (for the second year in a row). Sally Abugov and her band of 28 linoleum block carvers created a wonderful set of alphabetic designs with floral/fauna themes. The individual blocks were printed in different colors and sold at the Fair.
A great time was had by all.
The Monotype Recorder Online
(This discovery courtesy of Mikko Vierumaki and Erik Spiekermann on Twitter)
What is it?
Frankly, we’re stumped.
This device is about 12×14 inches with a handle on one side for moving it, rollers on the impression side for what appears to be positioning it on a track. The relief letters appear to be for pressing against some substrate to transfer the characters or punching into a softer material. The flip side is engraved with the alphabet with various sizes from 30 and 48 to 60 points, and numbers in the upper row at 120 points. And lower row at 30 points. Each character is next to a recessed shaft that looks like a plunger would press against it to make the impression. It weighs over 20 pounds.
If you have any idea what this is, let us know at email@example.com. It has been a puzzlement around here — and our members are pretty darn good a identifying the arcane and bizarre.
MoP Stalwart highlighted in WSJ article
CHICOPEE, Mass. — John Barrett decided to gather a little printing intelligence. “Have you seen any interest in, or need for, hashtags?” he asked a customer he was showing around Letterpress Things, his 6,500-square-foot store in a former paper warehouse in Chicopee, Mass. Read more >
Type families and visual systems
Type lovers! There’s an excellent article on type families & systems on the FontShop website: “From compressed light to extended ultra: Visual systems in type designs“ by Ferdinand Ulrich. Check it out.
History of the Linotype Company by Frank Romano released
No single machine impacted the setting of type as did the Linotype. At the time of the Civil War, typesetting was the second most common occupation in America, surpassed only by farming. Both were done primarily by hand. The Linotype machine mechanized typesetting. Outside of Gutenberg’s invention of movable type no other single machine has had the impact on printing as has the Linotype.
The definitive history of the machine, the people and the technology can be found in the 463 page History of the Linotype Company, released by Museum of Printing’s President Frank Romano. The book is available through the museum.
Copies are available at the museum on Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm. If Frank is there, he will be happy to autograph your copy.
The price is $65 for members, $75 for non-members, plus tax. If you can not make it to the museum, send a check for $93 (including tax and shipping) to the Museum at PO Box 5580, Beverly, MA 01915.
The History of the Linotype Company is 11 × 8½ inches in small coffee table orientation. It includes hundreds of photographs sourced from around the world, including ads, product brochures, maintenance manuals, Linotype’s periodicals and special publications and more, including many personal accounts, correspondence and memories of the company and typesetting. One of the 18 chapters is devoted solely to the business of typesetting over the last 140 years.
The Linotype machine was king for nearly seventy years, dethroned only by the “new” technology of phototypesetting. The Linotype Company was a strong leader in the creation and marketing of phototypesetting units and systems until that technology was replaced by personal computers, page make-up software and direct to plate and direct to press technologies.
A follow-up book, The History of Phototypesetting, by Romano was also published in 2014.
Want to see a working Linotype? Come to the Museum’s Printing Arts Fair on Father’s Day, June 21.
Dirty Shirts reorganize museum
“A dozen volunteers did more in a few hours than I could have done in a week,” said Ted Leigh about Saturday’s Dirty Shirt Day.
The Dirty Shirts completely reorganized the Print Gallery’s east wall, moving presses, re-arranging two proof presses, composting stones type and cut cabinets among other things creating expanded demonstration and workshop areas. Museum staff is putting together the workshop schedule for the spring and summer to take advantage of the revitalized space.
The volunteers also managed to stage and move other equipment in preparation for modifying other exhibit areas.
“It was good work,” one volunteer said, “but a lot of fun too. I got to talk with other printers and learned a lot about other shops.” The volunteers came from as far away as eastern New York, northern Vermont and western New Hampshire.
William Bonser died recently. He was co-founder of the Museum of Printing, retired teacher of printing at Groton School, and former executive for the Lowell Chamber of Commerce. He has held the title Director Emeritus of the Friends of the Museum of Printing. Bruce McIntosh informed us. His friend Kate Wilcox posted on Facebook.
Read about us in the Globe
North Andover museum makes printing indelible
NORTH ANDOVER — For some people, the world’s gradual transition from ink on paper to pixels on a screen is fraught with emotion. But there’s one place north of Boston where print still reigns supreme.
Earn the Big Bucks by volunteering at the Museum of Printing
The Museum is looking for volunteers to help with projects such as:
- Working in our Gift shop (Saturdays)
- Identifying and creating a type inventory — both wood and hot metal
- Assisting staff with exhibits and collections
- Helping move equipment
- Creating signage for equipment
- Cleaning and organizing type — especially our large collection of wood type
- Cleaning and organizing the museum
- And much, much more . . .
For each hour worked you earn a “Big Buck” worth a $1 credit in our gift Shop, Letterpress Store or applied towards workshops, equipment or anything the Museum of Printing offers.
Stop by any Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm and see if you would be interested in earning the “Big Bucks” or contact our Executive Director Kim Pickard at
CALL FOR HALFTONES
The museum is looking to mount an exhibit on photographic reproduction and find we are embarrassingly low on a few things. We need your help.
If you have a few of these to spare and can send them to us we can continue with exhibit planning.
- Halftone screens
- Metal offset plates with black and white and color halftones on them we can cut up as necessary. If you can accompany this with a few printed examples of what was printed by the plates it would be greatly appreciated.
- Flexible plates with halftones
- A rotogravure plate
- Any non-offset plates for printing images
We are especially in need of color separations and proofs.
Have a question or donation? Contact Kim Pickard, Executive Director.
Linotype: The Film
Linotype: The Film is a feature-length documentary centered around the Linotype type casting machine. Called the “Eighth Wonder of the World” by Thomas Edison, it revolutionized printing and society. The film tells the charming and emotional story of the people connected to the Linotype and how it impacted the world.
via Doug Ely
Upside Down, Left To Right: A Letterpress Film
You’ll enjoy this beautiful short film about letterpress and one of the few remaining movable-type printing workshops in the UK, situated at Plymouth University, featuring Paul Collier.
The Type Heritage Project
We’ve found an ambitious website getting underway that will be of interest to all type lovers: The Type Heritage Project. From their website:
The Type Heritage Project [THP] discovers and documents the histories of digital display fonts originally designed between c1800 and World War I:
Pre-digital tradename(s), year of issue, name and nationality of the designer and/or metal or wood (letterpress) producer.
Based on many years of spare-time research, a series of textbooks is planned. Volume I explores quintessential Victorian faces, a spectacular trove of innovative gems.
Sample PDFs of typical specimen spreads and chapter introductions are available.
This site is intended to supplement the THP textbook series with historical context interpreting all volumes and to become a history-intensive hangout for a community of researchers, revival font developers and forum participants.
Our Letterpress Workshops
The Museum of Printing runs a Basic Letterpress workshop on a regular basis. Participants do two projects, a 7×10 piece for a showcard press and a 12×18 piece for an 1880 Acorn press. They learn composition, makeready, inking, and much more. The advanced workshop covers the Vandercook.