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2017 Conference Speakers Announced

The speaker roster is now confirmed for “Good, Fast, Cheap: Printed Words and Images in America before 1900” our joint conference with the American Antiquarian Society. APHA’s forty-second annual conference will be held at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts. Registration and other information are still in development. Please stay tuned.

Music Engraving Tools?

Jude Lubrano from  J & J Lubrano Music Antiquarians, rare book & manuscript dealers specializing in music, is seeking information about a set of engraving tools that she acquired a decade ago at an auction in Germany. [Read more]

ISO: Photos of Mass Printing Technology, Early 1900s

 Via the contact form:

I am writing on behalf of MontanaPBS. We are currently working on a documentary about CM Russell & The American West. For this, we are looking to acquire photos of mass printing technology from early 1900s. 
We are looking for the tools used during this time as well as some wide shots of them being used in newsrooms etc. Do you have any photos that fit these descriptions or know where we can continue our search?

I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.
Maria Anderson

ISO: Ink containers circa 1900-05

Via the Contact form:

I am doing some research for a current project on printing. I need to know the type of vessel ink came in at a 1900-1905 commercial printer’s shop. I would like a visual showing what it would have looked like. For example, the ink used in printing a newspaper at that time.

Brenda White


Share a Story with APHA

The APHA website is now accepting short articles on lesser known aspects of the history of printing and related arts and crafts, including calligraphy, typefounding, typography, papermaking, bookbinding, illustration, and publishing. Texts must be original but are not required to be scholarly. (That need is well met by APHA’s journal Printing History.) The website editor will consider biographical sketches, tales of provenance, professional reminiscences, as well as preliminary research. All are encouraged to submit—APHA members and nonmembers, students and non-academics, the trained and self-taught—by contacting the editor.

Tour of North Berkeley Printers’ Row!

Saturday, June 10, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Join APHA NorCal as we stroll around North Berkeley and visit some of the local print shops. We will see the studios of Norman McKnight, David Lance Goines, Richard Seibert, and Li Jiang, and we will be treated to a delicious lunch along the way.

This tour is strictly limited to the first 15 people who sign up! Be sure to renew your APHA NorCal membership, if you haven’t already, and sign up here today!

ISO: Scrapbooks Assembled by the Brad Stephens Co.

APHA member, designer and design historian, Paul Shaw, is looking for information on the whereabouts of three scrapbooks of paper company advertising designs (ca. 1911–1928) assembled by the Brad Stephens Co. of Boston.


ISO: A Layman’s Book About the History of Printing

Via the contact form:

I am at the Tubac Presidio State Park in Arizona. We have a chance to create a small exhibit on the history of printing. Is there a good, not very technical book you would recommend we can reference? We need to impart general knowledge for the average museum goer.


Adam Ramage and his One-pull Common Press

Robert Oldham

The first known one-pull Common press made by Adam Ramage, now at Juniata College, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. This undated photo was used by Phillip Gaskell in his census of wooden presses published in the Journal of the Printing Historical Society in 1970. (Trinity College Library, Cambridge University)

While I was collecting hand press information for my book, A Field Guide to North American Hand Presses and Their Manufacturers, I encountered a number of Ramage Common presses, among them the two described herein that have larger platens than usual. I became intrigued by this anomaly and began searching for information that might support the idea that Adam Ramage, the first true manufacturer of printing presses in the USA, had tried enlarging the capacity of his wooden presses to make them more competitive with the incipient iron hand presses.  [Read more]

ISO: Ink Toxicity

Via the contact form:

My family operated an off set printing machine in our home from approximately 1958 to 1965. My mother printed civil defense cards and later CB cards. She used various colors of ink. I am trying to find out what toxins were in the ink as well as the solvents used to clean the printing press.