Friday, November 24, 2006


THE OLD LETTERPRESS

Before digital printing and offset printing, there was letterpress printing. This printing process started with Johann Gutenberg in 1450 with his press, and the start of movable type. It was refined over the next five centuries, originally made of wood, then iron and later steel. It operated first manually, then by steam power, water power and later by electrical motor.
When I started in the printing industry I operated a number of letterpresses. In 1985 when we bought Merrick Printing, we had a working Heidelberg Windmill letterpress and a Linotype hot lead typesetter. Although we scrapped the typesetter, we still have the letterpress. We do use it occasionally, but not as much as we used to.
However, the demise of letterpress is not true. One only has to visit
Briar Press, and see what the enthusiasts have to say. If you are a fan of printing or history, take a trip to this site.


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