Visiting a letterpress printing shop

From time to time I have taken camera in hand and toured my little letterpress shop in an attempt to capture some

A late night view of Kluge printing presses

Kluge presses at night

of the flavor of the old machines that make my work possible.

Linotype pi mats

Pi mats ready for Linotype machine typesetting

The views my camera captured might be interesting so I have posted a few of them here.  I find each of the machines and the auxiliary items that help them function to be marvels of human creativity: actually of human genius.  They were created in the great machine age when cams and gears and  punches ruled the manufacturing world.   From time to time I will try to add more photos, but for now these are a beginning.

Linotype cams

Cams that operate the Linotype hot metal typesetting machine

For those who would enjoy a movie about the Linotype machine, please check out  It is a vastly entertaining

Hardcover book sewing

National book sewing machine ready to work

tribute to the typesetting machine that changed the course of printing history.

Much of the work these machines did for so many decades has been turned over to more modern methods of typesetting and printing, but the old machines still work and they can produce beautiful products.  As the printing trades moved to electronic imaging and the

Linotype keyboard

The Linotype operator’s work station

computer became king of the era, the machine age took a backseat, and in some cases, a discarded seat in printing history.  But then, in the 1980’s, some people rediscovered  that letterpress printing could do things no other printing

Kluge press photo

Kluge press from throw off arm

process can. Gradually, the old machines that had been the workhorses of the trade began to find new homes in little shops around the country.  They became part of a printing  art revival and, as with other veteran technologies, letterpress printing found niche markets to serve discriminating customers.  While many of these mostly little shops focused their work on specialty stationery, primarily wedding and other social stationery, I decided that

Linotype photo

Linotype hot metal typesetting designed specifically for letterpress printing

my interest lay in printing and binding quality hot metal typeset and letterpress printed books.  Finding people who recognize the value the old technologies add to the beauty and charm of their books has been a satisfying journey for me.

I hope you will enjoy this little visit to my shop.  Stop back again.

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One Response to Visiting a letterpress printing shop

  1. Kathy Coughlin February 12, 2016 at 2:40 am #

    Cool stuff! It’s easy to see you have a warm relationship with your machines and your shop.