The Museum of Printing holds the most extensive collection of printing materials and equipment in the United States. Explore it and see how printing has molded your life - from art and photography, to newspapers and books, to virtually anything you read.
The Museum of Printing was incorporated in 1978 to save printing equipment and library materials associated with arcane technologies. The Museum is home to many special collections and exhibits, and contains hundreds of antique printing, typesetting, and bindery machines, as well as a library of books and printing related documents.
Printing has been the predecessor to advancements in civilization. Gutenberg's invention of movable type spread religion, improved printing press' fostered America's revolution and today's digital type creates the words on your computer and electronic table
Mission: The Museum of Printing is dedicated to preserving the history of the graphic arts, printing equipment and printing craftsmanship.
The Museum of Printing's cover photo
The Museum of Printing has a tremendous collection of vintage paper sample books. The example shown here, The Strathmore Quality Book of Papers, was printed by The Munder-Thomsen Press in 1906 for the Mittineague Paper Company. Strathmore’s founder, Horace Moses, opened the Mittineague paper mill in 1892. Not long after, Moses visited Scotland’s Valley of Strathmore and was so impressed by the beauty of the blooming thistle that he chose the name Strathmore and a thistle logo to represent his art and printing papers.
This solid architectural design entitled “Typewasset” was the creation of Harry T. Spence of Sleepy Hollow Enterprises, whose inspiration clearly comes from Albert Schiller (whose Type Pictures we highlighted last week). Mr. Spence quotes Schiller from an article that appeared in the August 1984 issue of Printing News:
“To all who love type, Typewasset can be anywhere at all where type and typography are the subject of good conversation, be it spiced with wit laughter and kindliness, or be it spiked with vinegar. The name is derived from three simple little words: Type Was Set. And when type has been set, what a world of action is touched of thereby!”
A salute and many thanks to everyone who turned out for Saturday’s Letterpress Sale! What an extraordinary day – we sold all the presses, except for a few tabletops! Wow! Letterpress is bustling and very much alive here in New England!
All proceeds from this sale go toward supporting our non-profit. The Museum receives many donations of presses, including some that are surplus to the collection. Our incredibly talented volunteers take these in hand and restore them, allowing us to put them back in circulation. Sincere thanks to our amazing volunteers and the letterpress community for supporting our mission to preserve the history of graphic arts, printing equipment, and printing craftsmanship.
As we wipe our collective brow in relief and happiness, here is an appropriate image from James Conner’s Sons’ specimen book, “Specimens of Plain and Ornamental Printing Types, Rules, Dashes and Ornaments,” published in the mid to late nineteenth century.
One of the items from the Schappler Typographic Ephemera collection is this undated catalog of Baltotype “Handy Boxes.” Handy Boxes are small boxed collections of decorative materials, characters, borders, fractions, and rules for letterpress.
By the late 1970s, Baltotype had gone out of business, but it reemerged as Volker Brothers under the guidance of Baltotype’s former Vice President, Herbert S. Czarnowski. If you visit our gift shop next Saturday, you’ll see some examples of Handy Boxes that were re-sold under the Volker Brothers name.
The Baltotype catalog is just one example of the rich history encapsulated in our recently acquired Schappler Typographic Ephemera collection, which includes over 11,000 rare typographic items.
On January Saturday 11th we will be having a Typographic Ephemera Party to celebrate this acquisition. Mark your calendars and plan on joining us that day.
For further details on the Schappler Typographic Ephemera Collection, see:
Coming up Saturday, a dream event for letterpress fans: two Vandercooks, a selection of vintage tabletop presses, a restored type cabinet, and all sorts of fun letterpress stuff like cuts, quoins, leading space material type, borders, and ornaments.
Come see us Saturday November 16, 10-4 at the Museum of Printing (15 Thornton Ave, Haverhill, MA).
Be sure to stop by our gift shop this Saturday during our fabulous Letterpress Sale.
Lots of great items to choose from. Here’s a sneak peak!
Saturday November 16 from 10 am to 4 pm at the Museum of Printing, 15 Thornton Ave, Haverhill, MA.
Every now and then our volunteer crew needs a change of pace and they switch over from cast iron to wood. This little cutie of a type cabinet was crying out for some attention. Have a look at the before and after pictures. It is 26 inches high, 16 inches deep and 16 inches wide. It has five type drawers, two cut drawers, and two larger storage drawers at the bottom. And it’s for sale this Saturday in our Letterpress Sale!
Be sure to shop with us on Saturday, November 16th, 10-4, for all sorts of letterpress finds and gifts!
Three of the most mesmerizing prints in the Museum’s collection are by Albert Schiller (1898-1970), a Russian immigrant who came to the United States in 1904. He is well known for his “Type Pictures,” imaginative designs using pre-cast metal type ornaments.
Schiller wrote: “Printers’ type ornaments as produced by type-founders, are to me ‘prefabricated’ pen strokes prepared in limitless duplication and considerable variety which have but to be put together to form a picture…”
Visit us to see Schiller’s amazing artwork! Our collection includes “The Museum” (1954), “Approach to the City” (1937), and “The Antique Shop” (1955).
Additional examples of Albert Schiller’s artwork, can be seen in RIT’s Cary Graphic Arts Collection online exhibit at: http://library.rit.edu/cary/exhibitions/albert-schiller-genius-type-ornaments
The New School also has an extensive collection of Albert Schiller type pictures. See: https://library.newschool.edu/archives/findingaids/KA0060.html#ref6
Thanks to the hard work of our volunteer crew, we’re rolling out a second restored Vandercook proof press at this Saturday’s Letterpress Sale (November 16, 10 am to 4 pm).
Vandercook & Sons ushered in an “office press” series in 1936 comprised of Models 0, 01, 03 and 099.
We’re offering this Model 01, which has a rubber impression cylinder, paper grippers, and the original cabinet. According to the 1935 American Type Founders catalog, the maximum sheet size is 15"x 32", maximum form size is 14-1/2"x 26". Floor space needed is 20" x 44".
Do you need type, borders, ornaments, cuts? How about furniture and reglet cabinets, type cabinets, small tools and supplies? And then, what about all the stuff you don’t even know you need till you see it? 😊
The Museum of Printing is THE place to be this Saturday!
Please feel free to get in touch with any questions via email at [email protected].
Thank you everyone who came out to the Museum and made our Book Sale a success! We hope all of these books will make your home/bookshelf that much happier! We also had a Proof press find a new home...Speaking of which:
Shop for everything letterpress at the Museum this Saturday, November 16th from 10 am to 4 pm! A half-dozen tabletop presses are among the offerings, including this nicely decorated Model No. 1 Improved. We believe the press to be in original condition, the chase size measures 5" x 7-1/2", and the rollers, while not new, are usable.
Letterpress Commons provides some helpful history: "The Model press was invented and patented in 1874 by William Clark of Philadelphia, who went into business for its production with Joshua Daughaday, a publisher. The press was intended for tradesmen and amateurs (including children). It came in a range of sizes and models, from hand-inking card presses to full-sized job presses, and was produced well into the twentieth century. The No.1 Improved was manufactured toward the end of the nineteenth century."
Other great vintage tabletops for sale include a C & P Pilot 6-1/2"x10", Sigwalt 6-1/2"x10", Kelsey Watson 4"x6", Kelsey 3"x5", and an Adana 3"x5".
Come see us on Saturday for all your letterpress needs!
For Veteran’s Day, a patriotic composition from a catalog entitled “Specimens of Plain and Ornamental Printing Types, Rules Dashes and Ornaments, Cast at the United States Type Foundry of James Conner’s Sons, New York, Nos. 28,30 and 32 Centre Street.”
With Linotype print, the old is new again - The Boston Globe
In a 20-by-16-foot workshop behind his house in Jamaica Plain, Michael Babcock cajoles and commands what is believed to be the last hot-type press in Boston.
The Museum of Printing's cover photo
Here’s a quick peek at some of the books at tomorrow’s big sale:
The Winter 1936 edition of “The Colophon” (A Book Collectors’ Quarterly)
“An Apology for Printers” by Benjamin Franklin
“Visual Thinking” by Rudolf Arnhem
“Miracle Man of Printing: Ottmar Mergenthaler” by I.E. Levine
Come by and see what else is there! Saturday November 9, 10 am to 4 pm.
Coming up in our Letterpress Sale on November 16th is something you don’t run across every day: a vintage tabletop press that’s “brand new,” never been used. This Craftsmen Superior, one of the last produced, was donated by a kind fellow who purchased it at the factory in the 1970s but never got around to printing on it. The manufacturer’s brochure says the rugged, 200 lb. press “satisfies the most exacting demand for consistent quality, maximum production, easier operation, bigger capacity.”
The inside chase size measures 6-1/2" x 10". The press is complete and ready to print. It’s a serious press and we figure it oughta be back in circulation!
Please feel free to contact us at [email protected] with any questions.
These small books relating to printing history are little pearls. Look for them at our Book Sale on Saturday, November 9th!
The Colonial Book Comprising a Collection of Letters Written by Pupils of Paul Hoffman Junior High School [Public School Forty-Five, Bronx] in the Manner of the Colonial Period, printed and bound by pupils in the school print shop and bindery of Paul Hoffman Junior High School, published 1928, Limited Edition, No. 131 of 300.
Isaiah Thomas, Printer, Patriot and Philanthropist, 1749-1831 by Clifford K. Shipton, published by The Leo Hart Co., Inc., 1948.
Stephen Daye and His Successors, 1639-1921 The establishment of a printing plant in what was formerly British North America and the development of the art of printing at the University Press, of Cambridge, MA 1639-1921, published by the University Press in Cambridge, MA ,1921, Illustrator George F. Trenholm.
Pioneer Printing at Dartmouth by Ray Nash, Hanover: printed by George T. Bailey, 1941, Limited Edition, No. 80 of 200.
We’re pleased to introduce this restored Vandercook 14, a hand proof press, being offered at our Letterpress Sale on Saturday, November 16th.
Take a look at the before and after photos to see the amazing restoration work of our volunteer team. Wow, right?!?
The manufacturer’s literature refers to the 14 as a compact, hand inked machine with automatic cylinder grippers. Ball bearing construction insures easy operation and permits rigid impression setting. This press would be ideal for an artist or small letterpress shop. Maximum sheet size is 17-3/8" x 25", maximum form size is 16-5/8" x 23-1/4". Floor space 2'7" by 3'9". Net weight 650 lbs. Complete except for the brayer rest and lower door.
Shoot us an email at [email protected] for more info.
Oh the books! If you love books on books and printing then stop by and browse our Book Sale and Gift Shop this Saturday, November 9th, from 10am to 4pm. This little stack is a glimpse into what’s on hand. And we’ll have coffee, tea and sweets in the Letterpress Studio whenever you need to refuel. We look forward to seeing you!
Here’s a little gem of a book being offered at our semiannual Book Sale, this Saturday November 9th:
“Printshop Nostalgia: Cartoons: ‘Old Days in the Printshop’” by John T. Nolf, originally published in The Inland Printer Magazine, with a preface by J. L. Frazier, editor of The Inland Printer from 1928-1951. The hardcover was published by The Schori Press in 1962.
Come buy the books! We will have all sorts of books about books, printing, typography, and graphic design, in all price ranges. Be sure to mark your calendars for Saturday, November 9th (10 am to 4 pm)!
The Museum of Printing's cover photo
We’re having great fun unpacking, organizing, and pricing books for our semiannual Book Sale this coming Saturday, November 9th!
Hardcovers, paperbacks, old books, newish books, and everything in-between, a fascinating and fun selection in all conditions and price ranges.
Plus we carry a comprehensive selection of new typography books in our Gift Shop, including Jerry Kelly’s “Type Revivals” from David R. Godine Publisher.
Pencil us in for this Saturday!
The November 1914 cover of The Inland Printer was illustrated by H.E. Ostmark. An entry in the magazine describes Ostmark as a young compositor employed by the Faulkner-Ryan Company, a Chicago-based printer. The editors use the opportunity to promote the I.T.U. course of instruction in printing conducted by the Inland Printer Technical School.
(Note: I.T.U. stands for International Typographical Union.)
Mark your calendars! November is shaping up as a big month at the Museum of Printing:
- Saturday, Nov. 2: We are celebrating the publication of Museum President Frank Romano’s latest book: “History of Desktop Publishing.” Frank will lecture at 11 am and 1 pm.
- Saturday, Nov. 9: We’re having our semi-annual book sale
- Saturday, Nov. 16: We’re having our Fall letterpress sale
And, we will soon have our 2020 calendar, “A Brief History of Print with Frank Romano” in our gift shop.
These Halloween-themed designs come from the Barnhart Brothers & Spindler Catalog 25 (Type Faces Border Designs, Typecast Ornaments, Brass Rule) and were designed by Carl Junge (1880-1972), an American illustrator, painter, engraver, and designer.
Barnhart Brothers & Spindler catalog was founded as the Great Western Type Foundry in 1873 and became Barnhart Brothers & Spindler ten years later. It operated very successfully for many years as a type foundry out of an office on Monroe Street in Chicago. Barnhart Brothers & Spindler was bought out by American Type Founders in 1911 and was finally closed in 1933.
The Museum of Printing's cover photo
Over a decade ago, artist Anna Hogan (1921-2017) donated many of her wood engraving blocks to the Museum. She conferred two names on the 4" by 3" block used to make this print. On one edge in black marker she wrote “Harvest” and on another “Pumpkins and Cider.” Either title works just fine for us and her image beautifully captures the autumn season! Stop by any Saturday and enjoy her inspiring engravings. Cards and prints of this image and many others are available in our Gift Shop.
October 29, 1969 (fifty years ago today) is recognized as the birth of the Internet. It’s the day when the first message was sent between two computers hundreds of miles apart.
The Museum of Printing has a number of artifacts related to the early days of computing:
- An acoustic coupler, a device that allows electrical signals to be sent over phone lines by converting them to sound
- A NeXT computer (the world's first web server was a NeXT computer; a NeXT computer was also used to write the first web browser)
- An Apple Newton hand-held communication device (the term PDA, personal digital assistant, was coined to refer to the Newton)
Come visit the Museum any Saturday from 10-4 to see these important computing devices.
Frank Romano's desktop publishing history lectures (to celebrate the publication of his new book) are highlighted in the Boston Globe's "What’s Happening North of Boston" this week
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album, singer-songwriter and jazz musician Pamela Means will perform the iconic album — in its entirety, solo acoustic — on Friday, Nov. 1.
This is wrong on many levels.
Here are two fine portraits of Ottmar Mergenthaler, inventor of the Linotype machine, who died 120 years ago today.
#Linotype #OttmarMergenthaler #Mergenthaler #OTD
Inventor of the Linotype machine, Ottmar Mergenthaler, died 120 years ago today on October 28, 1899 in Baltimore. He was 45.
In addition to the Mergenthaler bust shown here and many other items of Linotype ephemera, the Museum displays three Linotype models: an operational Model 31 Linotype, an 1883 prototype (the Second Band Machine), and a 1972 Elektron II, the last model Linotype ever built.
15 Thornton Ave.
Be the first to know and let us send you an email when The Museum of Printing posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Contact The Museum
Send a message to The Museum of Printing:
30 Emerson St
75 Kenoza Ave.
75 Kenoza Ave
37 Pleasant Street, Methuen
127 Main St, Plaistow
3 Academy Ave. (mailing P.O. Box 863), Atkinson
354 Merrimack St, Fl 2nd, Lawrence
354 Merrimack St, Lawrence
1 Jackson St, Lawrence
1 Jackson St, Lawrence