Skip to the good stuff!


ISO: William S. Dorr, NYC printer ca. 1833

. . .

Via the contact form:

I am writing my dissertation on the printing enterprise of the American Anti-Slavery Society, 1833-1840, and am trying to find information on one of the printers it used by the name of William S. Dorr. Do you know of any archives or sources in New York City that might have information on Dorr or the printing industry in New York City in the 1830s? Thanks, Paula Hunt.

Anglo-American Coöperation

Robert McCamant

I’m pleased to announce that APHA and the Printing Historical Society of the UK have agreed to start offering reciprocal benefits to our memberships.

APHA members can attend most PHS events and purchase some PHS publications at the member price. PHS members will be invited to do the same with APHA events.

As it happens, PHS is about to stage a sizeable conference in honor of their 50th anniversary. It’s to be November 13 and 14 in London, and has an impressive array of speakers on a variety of topics. As an APHA member, you are entitled to attend at the rate of £95 (about $162 at today’s rates). The list of speakers and a link to an online registration page can be found here.

Current paid-up APHA members should have received the discount registration code in their email. If you’re not paid up, there’s no better time than the present to fix that.

We’re happy that we’re going to have a blockbuster fall conference in San Francisco October 16-18 as an enticement for PHS members to visit us.

—Bob McCamant, APHA President

Navigating Print Identification with Graphics Atlas

Amelia Hugill-Fontanel

A postcard showing chromolithograph color overlaid with a letterpress halftone under varying magnification, as shown in Graphics Atlas.

A postcard showing chromolithograph color overlaid with a letterpress halftone under varying magnification, as shown in Graphics Atlas.

Admit it: you are among the special set of people, like me, who carry around a loupe to examine dot structure on demand. If so, the Graphics Atlas will become your new favorite web haunt for educational reading and pure delight. [Read more]

ISO: Image Transfer Options

. . .

Via the contact form:

The Altoona Mirror newspaper has a number (probably more than 100) of historical photos of the Altoona area, Pennsylvania Railroad, etc. from the early to mid-1900s on flat metal lithographic plates. Is there a way of getting prints or digital scans of the plates so we can put them in a usable format? Unfortunately, they kept the plates but not the photo prints they were made from. Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated. At this point, I’m not aware of any companies that can make the prints.

ISO: John A. Gray, c.19th Publisher

. . .

Via the contact form:

I am trying to find information pertaining to a John A. Gray who owned a publishing house in New York City in the mid to late 19th century. There is a lot of information on Gray’s company but very little on Gray himself. If you have any information regarding Gray’s biography I would greatly appreciate it if you could point me in the right direction. I look forward to your swift reply. Thank you.

2014 Conference Update

Sara T. Sauers


A roster of speakers guaranteed to promote lively discussion among colleagues both old and new has been assembled for APHA’s 2014 Annual Conference, Paper on the Press. This year the conference will be held jointly with hand papermaking group The Friends of Dard Hunter  [Read more]

Stoddard Remarks

Paul Moxon


The Individual Achievement Award presented in January to Roger Stoddard (left) by APHA President Robert McCamant. Photo by Joel Mason. Stoddard’s business card ca. 1945 (right).

A transcript of Roger Stoddard’s remarks from his acceptance, of APHA’s 2014 Individual Achievement Award, at the January Annual Meeting, have been added to his award page.  

Letterhead and the City

Stephen Freidus


As a retired Manhattan real estate broker and building owner, collecting images of New York buildings was almost second nature. I am attracted to the factories and headquarters portrayed on letterheads and billheads. I favor buildings that I can identify—especially if I had brokered the sale or leased premises there. [Read more]

Turnaround Time in a 17th-century Printing House?

Paul Moxon


Detail from Jost Amman’s woodcut “Buchdrucker” (The Printer) from Das Ständebuch (The Book of Trades), 1568. Wikimedia.

Occasionally, I field questions from site visitors about various aspects of printing history. I generally reply by email sharing what I can on the subject and then direct them to other sources. Here’s a query that our readership should be able to answer.

… how much time it would take to set a book in type and print it in seventeenth century Europe?

[Read more]

Printing History Index Updated

Joseph Grobelny

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 10.48.31 AM

APHA is pleased to announce a new digital index for our flagship journal, Printing History. At the request of James P. Ascher, Vice President of Publications, and with the assistance of  website Editor-in-Chief Paul Moxon, librarian and scholar Joseph Grobelny developed a completely new index to the journal. [Read more]