How I found a 100 year old letterpress.

personalHope Johnson2 Comments

When I first graduated college, my first to-do on my agenda was to find a tabletop letterpress. These presses were hard to come by. They were made well after the letterpress had been invented for the purpose of teaching. They were small, compact, and could fit nicely on a table. I knew this press was to learn the craft and hobby I began dabbling in, so I searched and searched until I found the one I wanted. 

After a few years, I quickly realized it was time to upgrade. My new search: a Chandler and Price New Style Letterpress ...and when I say new, I mean 1920s instead of 1800s. It's crazy how mad I get at my Epson printer, but I can run this age old printer just fine. So, I searched with all of my resources to find the press right for me. CONGRATULATIONS, YOU'RE THE HIGHEST BIDDER.

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me: "hey, what's your weekend like?"
husband: "fairly free, what's up?"
me: "we should go to Marlin, Texas!"
husband: "go where?"

I don't care what google maps said, it was not a 6.5 hour drive, it was more like 8 hours. Eight hours to Marlin Texas, a mile long town about 30 miles outside of Waco. The press was acquired by an antique store, put on eBay and BAM, in comes Hope. 

We packed up the truck with snacks and hooked up the heaviest duty trailer we had to haul home a near 100 year old, 1500 pound letterpress. Husbands with a know-how are the best and I cannot thank mine enough for putting up with my adventures and eBay bids. A day and another 8 hour drive later, we were home. Unloading this press and getting it in to my shop had to have been one of my most stressful moments ever. 

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We all got our hands dirty, but within a two week period, I went from my tabletop compact press to a much bigger beast. I'm so excited about the doors this leap has opened. ...and rightfully so, I named this letterpress Marlin, after its home town.