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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

Grad Students Encouraged to Apply for Joint FDH/APHA Conference Scholarship

Complete information and application

ISO: London Times Production, 1858

Via the Contact form:

As a consequence of a research project focused on events of June 1858 upon which I am currently working, it has come to my attention that purchasers of issues of The London Times in the 1850s had to cut pages in order to read them. [Read more]

APHA Does Instagram

The American Printing History Association is now on Instagram @printinghistory. This matches our handles on Twitter and Facebook used to announce website content, and share news from members and like organizations. However, our Instagram will tease information about our programs and our journal Printing History. We’ll also post random takes on our mission and motto “to encourage the study printing history.”

For a while we’ve asked members to tag images on their own social media accounts with  #americanprintinghistory and will continue to do so.

ISO: History of Poster Competitions

From the contact form

Hello. I am looking for information on the history of poster competitions in general as well as descriptions of specific instances and famous artists/designers who may have been participants.
I have found books on the history of the poster, but none yet that include mention of contests or competitions. 
Any help or advice, what to search or where would be welcomed.

All my very best,
David Raymond