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RIP: Stephen O. Saxe

Steve Saxe in his pressroom at his home in White Plains, NY June 14, 2014 (Paul Moxon)

We are sad to report that Stephen O. Saxe,  one of the APHA founders, longtime APHA newsletter editor, and printing historian, died April 27. An obituary is forthcoming.

ISO: Studies of Poetry Anthologies Cover Art

From the Contact form:

I am a librarian at Penn State assisting one of our faculty who is searching for studies that analyze book cover art in relation to a writer’s literary production and/or the content of a specific book or anthology. [Read more]

Offset Matrix

From the Contact form:

In the first days of offset printing (1878?), how was the original made from which the copies were produced?

Bryan Kravitz

2019 Annual Conference Call for Proposals

APHA welcomes research papers, panels, roundtables, or workshops covering diversity in the history of American printing. APHA’s 2019 conference, One Press, Many Hands, intends to shed light on the rich history of printing and publishing in America from diverse groups. Generations of past scholars in the field have devoted their research to studies rooted in Eurocentric and Anglo-American histories of printing. However, as the United States becomes increasingly diverse communities of scholarship have sought to engage with issues that have arisen from the transformation in our national demographic makeup.  [Read more]

Printing History 25 Coming Soon

Left: Sample cover for a Bible, which would have been carried by a book agent to give customers a sense of their options when purchasing a bespoke Bible. (Zinman Collection of Canvassing Books at the University of Pennsylvania) Right: An idealized engraving of the work of the Bible Society in disseminating scripture, by Asher Brown Durand (1796–1886). (New York Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Printing History 25, 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]

Life on Mars?

Zoe Webb

Thomas Bewick, “Cameleopard” block from A General History of Quadrupeds, eighth edition, 1824. (Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah)

Friday, October 26. “Imperfect Iterations: Duplicate Iconography in Wood Engraving Blocks,” Todd Samuelson ✧ “Postage Stamps on Handmade Paper: An Early Collaboration of Function & Necessity,” Robert Cagna   ✧ “Resisting Paradise: The Craftsman Press Archive,” Sonia Farmer 

[Read more]

ISO: Dyed Edges of Vintage Paperbacks

From the Contact form:

I’ve noticed that quite a few mass-market paperbacks, generally printed in the 1950s-’80s, have dyed page-edges, e.g. red, blue, yellow, and maybe green coloration. Do you know what chemicals were used in these dyes, and whether any of them are toxic and present a handling issue?

Jeremiah Goertz

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ISO: Ball (?) Printing Co., NYC ca, 1920s-30s

Via the Contact form:

I found this group photo that includes my grandfather (front row, second from the right). I know that he worked for a printer in New York in the 1920s and 30s. They have a sign in front of them that is too washed out to read except for the word “Ball” and a graphic, possibly a union bug. Was there a Ball Printing Company in NYC in the 1920s? —Sarah Bringmann

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ISO: Hektograph

From the Contact form:

My husband and I have an antique Hektograph from the 1880s. I believe it is a dry copy press? The only things I’ve gathered from it are that it’s made by the Hektograph Mfg. Co., the inventors (Rudolf Husak and Vincent Kwaysser from Austria) were the first the receive the US patent for it when it was first made. I was hoping to understand more about this specific Hektograph itself, the inventors and company. Thank you!   Athena Kabana

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ISO: Use of Color in Farm Publications

Form the Contact form:

I’m writing a history of the use of photos in American farm publications. I’m trying to pin down when the first editorial and advertising COLOR photos appeared in a farm publication. Any idea where I might go to research this question?  

Jim Patrico

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