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A Letterpress Bonanza!

A Letterpress Bonanza!

Bonanza? Well, maybe more like a Ponderosa. We recently added some curious items to our little garage studio. My Sister-in-law found some printer’s blocks and wood type at an antique shop near Carson City, NV. She picked up the entire box. Printer’s blocks, wood type and sorts. This bundle came with a bit of provenance. Seems the blocks came from the Ponderosa Ranch. The owner of the antique store said they were stored in the wagon barn. It stands to reason why there is a bit of magnesium corrosion on the printer’s blocks, and lots of Tahoe sand on the wood type. I have found no evidence of a print shop as part of the amusement park. Perhaps the twelve silly headlines were part of the “Old Time Photos”. They probably had a little showcard press setup. I’ve seen that “Wanted Poster” set up at other western attractions. Get your picture taken in western attire and display it on a newspaper with a headline like: To Star In Bonanza Found Sober – Shocks Town Found Drunk On Root Beer Escapes Hanging – Rope Breaks Picked Up In Vice Raid Goes On Wagon – Distillers Panic Arrested For Sobriety Elected Queen Of Deadwood Found Drunk On Beer Loses Crap Game­–Hocks Kids Escapes – Shotgun Misfires Caught, Bootlegging Booze I never went to the Ponderosa Ranch at Incline Village. Nevertheless I did enjoy the TV show. The park closed in 2004. Sad to see that nothing was ever done to preserve it. Little more information on the old Ponderosa Ranch click here. Test print proved that the corrosion may mean that...
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...
Our Trip to Hatch

Our Trip to Hatch

While planning our vacation to the South, Anita asked me if there was some place I really wanted to see. I said if we’re in Nashville I’d love to see Hatch Show Print. I would have been happy just gazing over their beautiful shop and hanging out in the gift shop. My wonderful wife booked a guided tour where we learned more about the history of Hatch. We even got to print our own commemorative poster. I credit hatch for sparking my interest in letterpress printing. Hatch Show Print — Letterpress A Must See For Anyone Who Loves Letterpress! Saw this Poster back in 2008 in Seattle. Don’t know why I didn’t Buy it then. If you’re in Nashville and you want one Hatch Poster it should be a classic Hank Williams. Every letterpress studio should have a coffee cup from Hatch Show Print. Didn’t get to go to the Picker’s Nashville store. But I had already purchased this Hatch poster a few years...
Another Litter Giant Printer Block

Another Litter Giant Printer Block

                                                                      It was a nice day for a drive. We headed south to Gilroy, Ca. Took some pictures outside of a red antique barn on Hecker Pass near Gilroy Gardens. Not much on my antiquing checklist. Picked up some $2 rusty items. I love textures. So, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to take some photographs of the rusted-out old Model AA Ford truck. Before heading home we stopped in the downtown and checked out two other stores. Late last September I had found a unique copper printer’s block of an old Little Giant Press. Today, same store different vendor, I find a 1.24″ x 1.75″ miniature version of what looks to be the same...