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Re: [PPLetterpress] Parlour Press

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  • Maggie Portis
    Texas A&M University offers a yearly book history workshop ( http://cushing.library.tamu.edu/events/book-history-workshop) and they have 10 or so of these
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 27, 2009
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      Texas A&M University offers a yearly book history workshop (
      http://cushing.library.tamu.edu/events/book-history-workshop) and they have
      10 or so of these parlour presses for use by the workshop participants. I
      believe they were built by Stephen Pratt, who also built a reproduction
      wooden handpress also used in the workshop.
      Really the whole workshop is a great experience - I actually got to do the
      whole historical type casting process from the punch/counter punch to
      pouring the metal into the hand mold and sanding down the end product.

      Maggie Portis
      Gamewell Press
      gamewellpress.typepad.com

      On Tue, Oct 27, 2009 at 3:48 PM, Arie Koelewyn <koelewyn@...> wrote:

      >
      >
      > I've seen three of these Parlour Presses. There was an (original?) iron
      > one offered a few years ago on eBay. I later saw it in the collection
      > of Ed Regan. The International Printing Museum in Carson, CA has a
      > wooden version that is beautifully made. And I have a cruder wooden
      > version in my basement that was made by John Bright, one-time owner of
      > Sigwalt, that I acquired at his estate sale a some years ago. I used it
      > to print a small edition of a print of a fairly large cut. It printed
      > well, but the lever was manufactured too short and John had welded a
      > bead of metal onto the end. That broke off after about 50 impressions.
      > the press came with a copy of Holzappfel's book.
      >
      > Maybe something like these would be a fair solution to the incredible
      > prices of tabletop presses these days.
      >
      > ---Arie C. Koelewyn
      > The Paper Airplane Press
      > East Lansing, MI
      > USA
      >
      >
      > typetom@... <typetom%40aol.com> wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > > In principle it makes sense to call these parlor presses, but there
      > > actually was a press historically referred to by the name Parlour
      > > Press. It is
      > > described by James Moran in his classic book, Printing Presses, and a
      > > full
      > > description and illustrations were included in the 3rd edition (1840) of
      > > Charles Holtzappfel's Printing Apparatus for the Use of Amateurs.
      > > Holtzappfel
      > > credits Edward Cowper with its invention, and apparently offered them for
      > > sale in the 1830s. It is a small flat-bed press with the pressure
      > > delivered
      > > by a lever which hooks under a latch when the press is closed. A similar
      > > device is used on the Adana flat-bed press in modern times.
      > >
      > > All these references are from English printing history. I don't know
      > > of any
      > > direct use of the term in American printing, though certainly there was a
      > > long history of amateur printing in the US as well. The Parlour Press
      > > predates most American hobby presses. The Golding Pearl was patented
      > > in 1871;
      > > Kelsey began in 1872. There were small card presses made in the US as
      > > early
      > > as the 1830s, but presses advertised for amateurs seem to have been
      > > later -
      > > the Lowe cone press in 1856, the Adams Cottage Press in 1861. Most of the
      > > American hobby presses date from the 1870s or 1880s. The National Amateur
      > > Press Association was organized in 1876.
      > > Tom
      > >
      > > Tom Parson/ Now It's Up To You
      > > 157 S Logan, Denver CO 80209
      > > (303) 777-8951 - home & letterpress printshop
      > > (720) 480-5358 - cranky cellphone
      > > _typetom@... <_typetom%40aol.com> <mailto:_typetom%40aol.com>_
      > (mailto:typetom@... <typetom%40aol.com>
      > > <mailto:typetom%40aol.com <typetom%2540aol.com>>)
      >
      > > _www.froglok.com/typetom_ (http://www.froglok.com/typetom/
      > > <http://www.froglok.com/typetom/>) (way out of
      > > date website!)
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > In a message dated 10/27/2009 10:30:28 A.M. Mountain Daylight Time,
      > > wd4nka@... <wd4nka%40bellsouth.net> <mailto:
      > wd4nka%40bellsouth.net <wd4nka%2540bellsouth.net>> writes:
      > >
      > > ...Steve: I'm glad you used the term "Parlour Presses".
      > > Heh, I've called them that, but only as a guess. I did not know, in fact,
      > > that they were actually called such. Now I feel vindicated :>)...
      > >
      > > -gary
      > >
      > > G. Johanson, Settlement Printer
      > > Florida Pioneer Settlement for the Creative Arts
      > > Barberville / Deltona, Florida.
      > >
      > > --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com <PPLetterpress%40yahoogroups.com>
      > > <mailto:PPLetterpress%40yahoogroups.com<PPLetterpress%2540yahoogroups.com>>,
      > Steve Robison
      > > <robisonsteve@...>
      > > wrote:
      > > >
      > > > ...Pearls were known as "Parlor Presses" because they could come
      > > through
      > > residential doorways into one's parlor. A lot of great writers and poets
      > > got started by printing their own works in their homes on small parlor
      > > presses like the Pearl.
      > > >
      > > > Best wishes,
      > > >
      > > > Steve Robison
      > > > The Robison Press
      > > > Belmont, CA - about 25 miles south of San Francisco
      > > > robisonsteve@...
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
      >


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