During a recent visit to the University of Wisconsin Library in Madison, I asked the librarians whether there were any books or pamphlets in their collection by Joseph Ishill. There were four, only three of which they could locate at that time. In reading through Mr. Ishill’s book on Peter Kropotkin, I was taken by the publisher’s foreward, which not only discussed the editorial research and work he and others did to make the book possible, but also the woes he experienced as a printer. Since I am an avid letterpress printer and private press publisher, as was Mr. Ishill, I could relate totally to his experience. The first press he had simply broke under the stress he put on it to print the book. A second was called into service and, despite serious difficulties, it managed to finish the printing chore.
I normally distribute my publications to members of the American Amateur Press Association, but this time I also printed some extras because I have discovered there is an undercurrent of interest in Mr. Ishill and his Oriole Press. This booklet is meant for for those who appreciate the significant role this New Jersey printer played in America’s private press history. I have issued two other items about Mr. Ishill and his private press: Joseph Ishill issue of the dandelion magazine and I Have Remained A Poor Devil.
Until later . . .
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