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Postcard from Printers’ Row

Paul Moxon, Website Editor

Andrew Franklin Wanner (1855–1935) was a central figure on Chicago’s printers row. Letterpress printers might know his company as the original maker of Poco and Potter proof presses. It was also one of the earliest selling agents for Vandercook, the most sought after brand of proof press today. [Read more]

Turnaround Time in a 17th-century Printing House?

Paul Moxon, Website Editor


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]

Happy New Year 2014

Paul Moxon, Website Editor

rushmore detail

“How wonderful to have nothing to do, and to rest afterward.”

Isidore, Bishop of Seville, 560–636 CE


This is your editor’s wish for one and all before the year begins in earnest. From The Golden Hind Press Commonplace Book (1955), an edition of  trial pages limited to fifty copies. A note on the page says: “Toward the close of his life the bishop composed a summary of his teachings, the Etymolgiae. The book had immense success and served as a manual of universal knowledge throughout the next five centuries.” 

The Golden Hind Press, established in 1927, was the private press of Arthur W. Rushmore (1883–1955) who for many years had been the director of design and manufacture for Harper & Bros., Publishers and had five designs selected for AIGA’s Fifty Books of the Year. 

Philip Zimmermann on Four-color Letterpress Printing of the National Geographic Magazine in the 1950s and 60s

Paul Moxon, Website Editor


A 1950s belle, with and without the use of a hand-cut color separation correction mask for her green dress.

Up until 1978, the National Geographic Magazine printed millions of copies every month of their famous yellow-bordered magazine by four-color process letterpress. The distinctive look of the color photo reproductions in the fifties and sixties was partly due to the medium of four-color letterpress and partly due to the state of separation technology at that time. Modern practitioners of letterpress find it hard to believe today that those millions of copies of the National Geographic Magazine were printed by letterpress. [Read more]