The Museum of Printing, North Andover, Massachusetts

800 Massachusetts Avenue · North Andover, Massachusetts 01845

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MOP Blog

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A lost typeface partially recovered
Cliff Garber

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
Frank Romano

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.

making paper

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.

demonstrating handpress for family

A great time was had by all.

There’s a whole gallery of pictures of the Printing Arts Fair >

Photos by Richard Koolish

The Monotype Recorder Online

You can read or download (as pdfs) over 60 issues of the Monotype Recorder on the Metal Type website.

The Monotype Recorder

(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.

mystery device
mystery device
mystery device
mystery device

If you have any idea what this is, let us know at 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
Cliff Garber

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.

Two New Photo Galleries

We have added a photo gallery section to our site and are pleased to present photos from the Lance Hidy Opening and a quick tour of (some of) the Museum’s collection.

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.

Dirty Shirts prepare to hoist a press to be refurbished.

Dirty Shirts prepare to hoist a press
to be refurbished.

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

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.

Read more >

Earn the Big Bucks by volunteering at the Museum of Printing

The Museum is looking for volunteers to help with projects such as:

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


halftone engraving

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.

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.

Read all about it >

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.

Read more >

Our Letterpress Workshops
Frank Romano

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.



We’re offering a new membership level
Bill Whitley

We’re offering a new membership level, and it’s a heck of a deal!

The Museum of Printing is pleased to have been added to the North American Reciprocal Museum program.

We are now able to offer a “Reciprocal Level” membership at $120/year — which entitles you to all of the benefits of our normal Family membership*, plus participation in the North American Reciprocal Museum program.

If you are a “Reciprocal Level” (or higher) member of the Museum of Printing, your membership card will automatically gain your admission to any of the 535 participating Museums in North America. 50 of these are located in New England, including the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford CT, the Worcester Museum of Art in Worcester MA, the Aldrich Contemporary Museum in Ridgefield CT, and the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem MA, and many more. You can review the full list of participating Museums here:

And of course you will also get any discounts on participating Museum gift shops — so how can you lose?

You can sign up here.

(*Please note — “Family” memberships are not defined by NARM, but according to each institution’s policies. Please contact the institution you plan to visit in advance to determine their “Family” membership policy. We will be pleased to honor any other Museum’s Reciprocal “Family” level memberships at our “Family” level — which includes two adults plus children.)

Betty Superman in Letterpress
Frank Romano

Printing the cover of Betty SupermanTiff Holland’s Betty Superman is winner of the 5th annual short short chapbook contest, judged by Kim Chinquee. As with all the chapbook winners, the covers were printed for Betty Superman by hand on a Vandercook letterpress at the Museum of Printing in North Andover, Mass. For two amazing days in early June, Rebecca Saraceno and friends cranked out 350 covers — twice — once with red ink and the smoking hand, and again with the metallic silver ink and text. · Read more »

The history of colonial printing comes to life in Boston's North End

Jeremy C. Fox wrote about our friend Gary Gregory in the Boston Globe:

Gary GregoryAs groups of visitors paused in a historic home along the Freedom Trail on a recent afternoon, historian Gary Gregory showed them a reproduction of Paul Revere’s famous etching of the Boston Massacre.

Gregory described the tensions that led up to the conflict, the methods Revere used to create the etching, and his reasons for adding drama to the drawing by Henry Pelham that served as his source material.

. . .

Gregory offers this corrective view of history as part of the daily routine he began this spring at a new exhibit meant to give visitors to the city a look into its long tradition of journalism — and propaganda. The sign outside this room just around the corner from the Old North Church reads “The Printing Offices of Edes & Gill,” and inside Gregory offers his best approximation of that historic colonial print shop.

Read more »

For more information about the Printing Office of Edes & Gill, visit

Type-loving iPad owners
Cliff Garber

will want to drop whatever they’re doing and head over to the App store to download the big yellow FontBook app. You may want to cancel all your appointments as well. Info here.


We are open on Saturdays from 10am to 4pm. We can open at other times for special events and group visits. To inquire about group visits, meetings, or special events, contact us at

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