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Large Copper Faced Printer’s Block

Large Copper Faced Printer’s Block

Printer’s blocks are a curious item. I see a few here and there at antique stores. Not as coveted of a find as wood type is to this press guy. Matter of fact I don’t always find printer’s blocks interesting. There are certain subjects that will catch my eye. I have found a copper faced block of an old “Little Giant” printing press. Strange enough, I have found two different sizes of the same press. Yesterday I happened on an 11” x 8” copper faced block of a huge printing press. Or was it a printing press? After a little research I found that it was a Duplex reel-fed flatbed perfecting press. The Duplex’s day-to-day role was some where between a cylinder press and a web-perfecting stereotype press used for circulations larger than 10,000. Like the large stereotype presses the Duplex feeds the paper from a roll, prints on both sides of the sheet and delivers a folded paper. Early presses were designed for general trade. As circulations increased for major newspapers, printing moved from a trade to an industry. Multi-cylinder presses were developed to meet the growing demand for increased pages per hour. Even greater demands lead to the development of type-revolving machines and eventually web-fed rotary presses to meet the need for volume and speed. Not all city newspapers had the circulation to justify huge printing presses and stereotyped printing plates. In 1889, the Duplex Printing Press Company produced a reel-fed flatbed perfecting press to meet the needs of smaller newspapers and general printing. The flat bed design allowed the newspaper lock up type and photos much...
30-Line Gothic Poster

30-Line Gothic Poster

It wasn’t a light package the delivery man left at the front door. You would expect a big box of letterpress 5″ wood type to be on the heftier side. And it was. About a year ago I had already filled on drawer of the Hamilton Case with 18-Line All Caps Gothic Poster. Any day you can fill a drawer with wood type is a good day. Today is a better than average day because 3o-line Poster Gothic filled two drawers. I also spent some of the morning, while I waited for the Fedex truck, cleaning a drawer of 10-line De Vinne recently acquired at the San Jose Printer’s Fair. About half way there, and it’s cleaning up real...
Pedal Car Poster

Pedal Car Poster

A couple of years ago we went to the Alameda Point Antiques Faire and I saw a photo of a little kid and his pedal car. I knew I wanted to use it in a design. I had to have it. As far as old photos goes it was a little on the pricey side (about 12$). Knowing that I would use it I was willing to pay a few extra bucks. I didn’t know how, or when I’d use it, but I would– I was inspired. I just felt it was the perfect subject. Just look at this kid, the hat, the overalls and the serious look on his face. So the next time you’re in antique store don’t pass up looking at a stack of old photos, there may be a real gem. I played around a lot till I found a style that worked. Then I decided to try to carve a linoleum block that could be used on a 13″ x 19″ poster. Once again I’m influenced by Hatch Show Posters. Mine would not be for a show, hence it would be a “No Show Poster”. Finally had some free time to put ink on the press. This was a perfect job for our Showcard press. To set the mood I was listening to Jimmy Smith, Dave Brubeck and Ben Webster. All together I think I printed about 25 posters. It’s always fun to vary the pressure and ink coverage when you’re hand inking things. Now on to my next project. Don’t know what that is is, but I should run something on the C&P....