This past weekend, I had the opportunity to meet with some of the gentlemen who work in the Printer’s Hall at the Midwest Old Threshers in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.
Midwest Old Threshers was started in an attempt to preserve historical agricultural machinery, and was later expanded to include historical printing equipment (and many other things). The Printer’s Hall, a large warehouse space, is home to a grand collection, all in working condition, of platen and cylinder letter-presses, linotype and intertype machines, a steam-run press, a steam-run folder and drawers and drawers of type.
The most impressive machine in the hall is the Miehle Model 00, which is capable of printing a sheet of paper that is 55 x 38 inches. This particular press started its life at the Bureau of Printing and Engraving in Washington DC.
Jim Daggs kindly cranked up the press to half speed and we printed a few, full-page, height charts.
Here’s the view of the images locked up…
…and a video of this beautiful machine in action.
Jim and his cohorts were incredibly warm, welcoming and knowledgeable. They love to see these presses in action and they would love to pass their knowledge along. They urged me to tell artists and students that they would be happy to share their knowledge with you. Contact Jim Daggs, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have a project you would like to work on utilizing these presses or if you’d like to visit the Printer’s Hall. Their location is remote, but they have a lot to offer.
The Printers Hall is open annually on Labor Day weekend, for the Thresher’s Reunion, and then again three weekends later for the Midwest and Great Northern Printers Fair, and swap-meet. Also, looking forward to 2013, they will be hosting the Ladies of Letterpress wayzgoose June 27-29. According to Kseniya Thomas, a Lady of Letterpress, this three-day event, Type on the Cob, will feature classes, for beginning and advanced students, hands-on use of the presses, and some “fun and educational evening programming.”Bookmark / Share / Print