Who we are:The Conestoga Press is part of the Historical Society of the Cocalico Valley and housed in the Carriage House of the Theodore Sprecher Museum at 249 West Main Street, Ephrata, Pennsylvania. It is operated by volunteers most Saturday mornings and during special events. See our Google Group Forum for current Schedule announcements.
Last Saturday I was fortunate enough to stop by the Museum of Printing, formerly of North Andover, Massachusetts; now just a bit further north in Haverhill, but conveniently located immediately off 495. They are in the process of moving since last year and there’s still much to do, but I also saw some great stuff there. It’s going to be great!
Thanks to Ted for waiting for me at the old museum for so long before finding me at the new one! You can check out pictures on the web site of the big move and watch for progress. Compare the photo online to the library cabinets being installed to the one below. – Randy
Watch as I go through the latest AAPA packet at the print shop. As a member of the American Amateur Press Association I get this packet monthly filled with other members’ work. It’s a source for ideas and inspiration at the Conestoga Press as well as providing some great stuff to post on the walls. You can check out the AAPA web site at http://www.aapainfo.org/
We have this in 36 and 60 point. Identified on page 399 Specimens of Type – ATF 1981 reprint of 1896 copy. Originated with Mackellar, Smiths, and Jordan Foundry, Philadelphia. Photo of type in compsing stick here is reversed.
Yes, Bronstrup, our 1850’s Iron Press is now on Twitter. He’ll tweet discoveries and unscheduled openings of the Print Shop at Conestoga Press. And he’ll follow other presses and letterpress tweets to participate in the conversation of the craft.
Check it out at https://twitter.com/ConestogaPress
Scattered among several places upstairs we found the parts of this series. Some are difficult to recognize on their own, but we finally placed them as part of this interesting border. It seems at this point we have a fair amount, with certainly more to surface, especially the smaller parts.
The American Bookmaker – July 1890
“A new combination border from the foundry of MacKellar, Smiths & Jordan is presented. The general impression is that of a sheet of paper torn away from a frame, the ragged edges being plainly that of paper. On the part that is left there is a geometrical design. The border seems to be good, and while it will not probably be much used, as the popular taste does not now incline to type borders, it can be made useful. It is known as Combination Border, Series 98. The first section [which is what we have @ Conestoga Press] consists of twenty-one pieces, the second of fourteen and the third of seventeen. Each can be used or bought separately.”
We are fortunate and honored to have John Myers, a local art teacher, coming by the print shop and introducing some new ideas and techniques. Here he is standing in front of some experiments in Chine-colle’. Thin paper is added to a portion of an inked block so that when the print is made on a sturdier paper the very delicate paper adheres to it. In this case, the cut paper from a map forms the detail for a woodcut that John made of himself holding a map. It was printed on the Bronstrup Press.
We look forward to John helping us explore wood cutting / engraving and other ways of creating media to print… and crossing the street to the Black Forest Brewery now and again as well.
The .918 Club in Lancaster is offering a great opportunity to learn all about letterpress. This workshop introduces the history and fundamentals of letterpress printing. Hand setting type, computer plate composition, proofing, lockup, and printing are all part of this hands-on experience. The 5 session workshop will be held on every other Tuesday night in February and March. Complete session descriptions, costs, dates, and directions are here (pdf).