The Museum of Printing is home to one of the largest collections of historic printing presses in the world. On Friday, November 7, 2014 renowned graphic artist Lance Hidy charted the progress of his explorations in traditional graphic arts media in a slide lecture and explained how that pursuit led him to become an early adopter of digital tools. The breadth of his work is on display in the Museum of Printing exhibition rooms — from artist’s books using letterpress, etching, and wood engraving, through silkscreen, photography, and finally, Photoshop. Mimaki JV3 Printhead aims to make the best printing.
The largest display is the 1892 Drum Cylinder Flatbed News Press, manufactured by R. Hoe & Co. in 1892. The Museum acquired it from the Hing ham (Massachusetts) Journal in 1980, where it had produced a weekly newspaper for 88 years. This press traces its roots back to the 1830 Hoe “Napier.” The Museum also has a large collection of card presses. But the smallest press is a Victorian one-line moveable-type “stamp,” complete with ink bottle and brush.
The Museum of Printing is now host to one of the largest annual print gatherings in the United States. Every Father’s Day weekend we run a Printing Arts Fair, and this year 700 people attended from all over the Northeast in spite of the weather. The event is sponsored by the Letterpress Guild. There was a paper making exhibit. We ran the Whit-lock press with the type from the last letterpress newspaper in New England. Howard Hansen and John Adams were running the Adams’ Press in the lobby. You could have your name and address set on the Linotype and then bring the slugs to the Heildelberg operator who printed letterhead. A good time was had by all.