Handset Press Interests
Items of interest to Handset Press's proprietor...
San Jose Printers' Guild
I bgan volunteering with the San
Jose Printers' Guild at History Park in 1997. The focus of
activity is having a trained Guild member in the Print Shop on weekends to interpret the exhibit
-- describe letterpress printing to visitors and show how the
equipment works. The video to the right shows our indomitable
Chairman, Jim Gard, showing things off to a local TV
As Jim wrote in the Guild's (semi-?)annual cooperative book,
"We work together to produce typesetting and printing
demonstrations at special events and selected weekends. With our
help, visitors learn to pull the handle of a table-top letterpress
and make their own souvenir impression."
The Guild usually meets on the second Saturday of each month to
review the Print Shop schedule, plan upcoming events, and talk
about printing. Every now and again, Guild members are mobilized
to rescue printing equipment.
Since 2014, the Guild has sponsored the S. F. Bay Area
Printers' Fair and Wayzgoose, held at History Park in the spring.
Liberty Platen Press
The Print Shop at History Park in San Jose has an unusual jobber
press: an F. M. Weiler Liberty built about 1885. Originally
designed in 1859 to avoid patents held by the more common Franklin
press, it was fairly popular in the last half of the nineteenth
century, particularly in Europe. Most were scrapped, and only a
I put together a detailed description of
the Liberty, including how to identify the press's key
characteristics and a run-down of known presses.
Golding Printing Presses
The workhorse at Handset Press is a Golding Jobber No. 6 press,
made by the Golding Manufacturing Co. Golding had several lines
of printing presses in a variety of sizes.
With assistance from Steve Saxe, I created a page of
information about Golding presses.
The American Type Founders and Barnhart Brothers & Spindler
type foundries produced large catalogs from the 1890s through the
twentieth century to display their offerings of type and other
I put together a page of ATF and
BB&S Catalog Information with spreadsheets showing which
faces were in various catalogs. There are also links to lots of
AAPA, NAPA, & The Fossils
In 1970, I received the pamphlet About Amateur Journalism
with Kelsey's The Printers' Helper. The idea of printing a
small paper for circulation to several hundred other enthusiasts
was intriguing, so I filled out the application and joined the American Amateur
Press Association. A few years later I joined a similar
organization, the National Amateur Press Association, and later
Fossils, the historians of amateur journalism.
- As AAPA's webmaster, I created a number of pages related to
- Resources for Letterpress Printers
- Printing Museums
- Private and Professional Letterpress Shops
- Local Printing Groups
- Typefaces Available from U.S. Foundries
- Type Lore
- ATF Font Scheme
- Other Foundries' Font Schemes
The printers of The Redwood Chappel mainly come from the area
of Northern California near Eureka, but members are scattered as
far as Oregon and Arizona. The focus of activity is the calendar,
with different printers producing a page for each month. Members
meet in late October to bring the pages together and catch up with
what's been going on. There are also two mailings during the
year. Annual dues are $10.