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Re: [PPLetterpress] Re: Reconstructing Gutenberg's Press

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  • Crispin Elsted
    Dear All, I haven t followed this thread through, so forgive me if someone s already suggested this, but just in case -- has anyone mentioned the wonderful
    Message 1 of 4 , May 6, 2008
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      Dear All,

      I haven't followed this thread through, so forgive me if someone's already suggested this, but just in case -- has anyone mentioned the wonderful set-up of common presses at the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp? They have a room with perhaps eight or ten common presses, including the two oldest extant presses in working condition, maintained just as they were when the printing house was working in the 17th century. The museum also includes the typefoundry and the composition rooms with cases, and is well set up with information for the visitor, knowledgeable personnel, and of course the inevitable gift-shop. There are lectures and classes given there regularly as well -- or used to be.

      This website has some good illustrations and information: http://museum.antwerpen.be/plantin_Moretus/index_eng.html

      I hope this is helpful.

      Cheers to all,

      Crispin Elsted
      Barbarian Press
      12375 Ainsworth Road, R.R.8
      Mission, British Columbia V4S 1L4

      Tel: 604.826.8089 Fax: 604.826.8092
      Website: www.barbarianpress.com

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Gerald Lange
      To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2008 1:48 PM
      Subject: Re: [PPLetterpress] Re: Reconstructing Gutenberg's Press


      The Gutenberg Museum's press is a reasonable educated guess at the
      reconstruction of a wooden common press but it is not known what the
      earliest of printing presses might actually have looked like. Konrad
      Saspoch, a cabinet maker, is credited with the construction of the type
      of press used by Gutenberg et al.

      Fairly accurately depicted illustrations do appear at the beginning of
      the 17th century. Hornschurch's Orthotypographia, 1608, has realistic
      renderings. But the first technical descriptions of the common press
      were by Moxon in 1683, some two hundred plus years after printing with
      movable type began.

      As mentioned earlier, the Elizabeth Harris and Clinton Sisson book, The
      Common Press, has very detailed descriptions of the construction.

      On a more serious note, a present-day rendering of Gutenberg's printing
      press can be seen here:



      Jan Kellett wrote:
      > The Gutenburg Museum in Mainz, Germany, has a large working wooden
      > press (as well as a copy of Gutenburg's bible). My understanding at
      > the time I visited (1999) was that this was a reconstruction of the
      > press used by Gutenburg.
      > Jan

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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