Father’s Day & Letterpress

Nothing Says “Thanks Dad” Quite Like a Printing Press

This past weekend, the two greatest men in my life spent part of their Father’s Day indulging and supporting my letterpress hobby and attended the 8th Annual Printing Arts Fair at The Museum of Printing in North Andover, MA. The Museum contains hundreds of antique printing, typesetting and bindery machines. In addition to the exhibits and special collections, the Fair provided guests with multiple demonstrations and hands on activities.

  • My Mother and daughter did some hand inking and printing.
  • My 6-year-old made her very own paper and got to run 2 different vandercook machines.
  • Me…I got to sift through pounds and pounds of loose dingbats, and type sets, all of which were available for sale at $1.00 a lb.

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The best part about the Fair was the networking I was able to do with local letterpress owners and experts, including my friend Nicole, owner and printer extraordinaire over at Headcase Press in New Bedford, MA.  I even found out that my recent press purchase turned out to be a very rare Damon-Peets Favorite 6×10 treadle model. HOW COOL!

Printing technologies have changed dramatically in the last 20 years, let alone the last 200.  The museum’s 2 galleries take you through the life of printing technologies starting with the creation of type—from the hand composition of hand-cast type to mechanized linecasting machines—and lead you through a sea of over 40 letterpresses, including: hand presses, platen job presses, tabletop presses, floor model platens and cylinder presses.

Admission to the museum is free on Fair day so there’s no reason not to mark next year’s 9th Annual Printing Arts Fair down onto your calendar. Don’t forget to bring your Dad!


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