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ISO: Early Book Banning

 Via the Contact form:

I am interested in the earliest banning of books. I looked at your History of Printing Timeline, and it mentions France, in the 1500s, under penalty of death.  [Read more]

ISO: Repurposing of Printing Plates

Via the Contact form:

How were newspaper printing plates recycled after use? I am particularly interested in any research/institutions/blogs that discuss the way plates might have been used as construction materials.  [Read more]

Printing History 24 Coming Soon

Cover: An experiment in multitudinous tints, William N. Weeden’ color printing process, is preserved in several small specimens, made as a proof of concept while visiting England in July 1886. Image: “Proposed Alphabets for the Blind, Under Consideration of the Society of Arts for Scotland,” listing twenty different alphabetical systems for the blind, primarily drawn from Europe. Image courtesy of Perkins School for the Blind.

Printing History 24, produced by the team of Brooke Palmieri, editor; Michael Russem, publication designer; and Katherine Ruffin, Vice-President for Publications, is being mailed to APHA members this week.  [Read more]

Hamilton Wood Type Loan Arrives at the University of Alabama

William Reilly

Wood type from the Hamilton Teaching Collection in action. (Photos: Sarah Bryant)

On August 23, Jim Moran, Director of the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum, escorted a large set of wood type to the fifth floor of the University of Alabama’s Amelia Gorgas Library, where the university’s MFA in Book Arts program operates its type lab and bindery.  [Read more]

ISO: Original Purposes of Vintage Presses

Via the Contact form:

I’m planning on starting up a ‘retro printer’s’ business, where I use vintage printing machines to give an authentic classic look to whatever the customer brings in (so far, most interest I’ve received has been from artists and a small local museum). I’m doing research on the different machines of the 19th and 20th century and was wondering whether the same printing machines used to print letters in newspapers and magazines were also used in factories for printing brand names and things such as that. 

Rowan Gillespie


Advertising Space Available in Printing History 24


Brooke Palmieri, editor, and Michael Russem, designer, are putting the finishing touches on Printing History 24, which will be printed and mailed to all APHA members in the few weeks. Advertising space is available for purchase. Sizes and prices can be found here.

To reserve space for an ad, please email by Sunday, July 29. Your ad should be submitted by Tuesday, July 31, as a high- resolution, press-ready grayscale PDF file in an attachment.

2018 Conference Registration is Open

Registration is open! The American Printing History Association’s forty-third annual annual conference will be held jointly with the Friends of Dard Hunter at University of Iowa Center for the Book in Iowa City, Iowa, October 25–27, 2018, with both pre- and post-conference events.  Full Conference information here.

ISO: Ben Day Mechanical Tinting Method

My research concerns the printing and colour separation of US comics from their origins in New York newspapers of the 1890s onwards. I was lucky enough to discuss my work with Prof Haven Hawley in Florida a few months back when I attended a conference at UFL. I will visit NYC in September.  The main research questions I hope to answer on this trip concern the adoption of the Ben Day mechanical tinting method by the earliest Sunday newspaper colour pages in 1893 and 1894. E.g. were these papers the first to use Ben Day tints in letterpress printing, or were other periodicals, books etc already using them, either in colour or B&W? [Read more]

2018 Conference Speakers Announced

The speaker roster is now confirmed for “Matrices: The Social Life of Paper, Print, and Art,” our joint conference with the Friends of Dard Hunter (FDH). APHA’s forty-third annual conference will be held at University of Iowa Center for the Book Iowa City, Iowa, October 25–27, 2018, with both pre- and post-conference events. Registration and other information are still in development. Please stay tuned.

ISO: History of Progressive Proofs

Via the Contact form:

I am looking for an article or website on the history of progressive proof printing, its origins etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Jeff Weisenberg