Sunday, April 06, 2008

Letterpress Heaven (Midwest)

Yesterday I got up at 5 am, yes, on a Saturday, to drive two hours to Zion, IL. I had to hit the Annual Type Sale at The Platen Press Museum by 8. It's ok to think "geez, she's a letterpress nerd". I am. I bought several ornament borders. They are in the photo above across the top. I bought gauge pins and two wood blocks. Not a huge haul but after making my purchases I hung about following owner, Paul Aken, around his museum. He is a kind man and very interested in sharing his knowledge with fledglings like me. The museum itself is an overpacked warehouse with presses of every size and shape, all old. Some of the presses are still in use. I can't even describe the quantity of letterpress items in Paul's shop. Just look at these photos:

This is Paul's "secret room" which he unlocked for me. It's a room chock full of small hand presses. They were all lined up and dust free, unlike some other parts of the museum. These must be his babies.

Another room.

Here's Paul casting some type on an old Linotype machine. He set my name for me. The machine makes a quiet motor sound. Kind of like rain. This was surprising coming from such a hulking machine.

This photo is a closeup of a cabinet, maybe 8 feet by 8 feet, full of tiny chinese lead type. Very interesting.

It's sunny and warmer out today. So, I hope to go on a family bike ride or hike. Tomorrow I print again!


deerseason87 said...

There is a Museum of Printing in Andover, Mass. that is similar. I was there for a function once and got to peek in the basement, where presses were literally stacked on top of each other- so much stuff!

Queen Bee Amy said...

Hannah, another place to put on my list of places to go. :)

Queen Bee Laurie said...

I have to look into places like that out my way! Sounds like a fun day. Wish I could have joined you!