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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.

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.


ISO: Identifying Baltimore Newspapers Typefaces

Via the contact form:

I’m trying to determine the typeface used by Baltimore newspapers ca. 1890. With Mergenthler’s Linotype company in Baltimore, my thought is that the Baltimore newspapers were quick converts to the new technology, and they probably used the initial factory-supplied typeface.

S. Brent Morris


Toward An APHA Checklist

Paul Moxon, Website Editor

I am developing a checklist for this website of printing history publications written or edited by APHA members (current, lapsed and deceased), APHA Award Laureates, Lieberman Lecturers, and Mark Samuels Lasner Fellows.   [Read more]

Gordon’s Patent Model Finds New Home

George Barnum

Gordon’s US Patent model for a platen job press mounted on the base of the case made by GPO carpenters. (GPO)

On Wednesday, March 15, 2017, Frank Romano, President of the Museum of Printing in Haverhill, Massachusetts, visited the Government Publishing Office in Washington to transport an 1874 U.S patent model of a platen printing press which GPO is lending to the museum. APHA’s Chesapeake Chapter sponsored a “going-away party” in GPO’s Visitor Center at which GPO Director Davita Vance-Cooks and Deputy Director James Bradley formally turned over the model to Romano. The model was prepared for transport to the museum by cabinetmaker John Beckel of the GPO Carpenter Shop, who constructed a specially fitted case for the model to travel in.  [Read more]

Request to Borrow Timeline

Via the contact form:

Hi there. I am amazed to see this organization exists! I am an employee for a paper merchant in Texas and I am glad to find this website. I was intrigued by the printing timeline posted on the home page and wondered if there was a printed version of it in poster or brochure format? I am the Co-President of our local AIGA chapter and we have organized a Women Lead Letterpress Workshop for March 30th. I was hoping I could distribute to our attendees a copy of the timeline. Let me know if that’s possible. Thanks!

Louis Cuellar, San Antonio AIGA