The Vintage Letterpress
vintage printing pressA very basic form of printing was developed in the 1300s, where blocks of wood were cut with letters and images. These blocks could be an indivdual letter, part of a page or a full page and would be dipped in ink and stamped onto paper. This was a long, drawn out process which often had to be repeated due to the fragility of wood.

In around 1440, Johann Gutenberg, a German goldsmith who was familiar with techniques of cutting punches for making coins from moulds saw a way of making the process quicker and more durable by using metal instead of wood and placing them within a machine. The mirror image of individual letters were relief carved and easily movable enabling the user to reuse and reset when required. The benefit of this process was that it would now be possible to mass produce texts.

The Gutenberg Bible was the first book in the West made using movable type, and historians have estimated that around 180 were made during the 1450s (49 still exist in library, university letterpressand museum collections).

 He who first shortened the labor of copyists by device of movable types was disbanding hired armies, and cashiering most kings and senates, and creating a whole new democratic world: he had invented the art of printing.
(Thomas Carlyle, Sartor Resartus, 1833)

We are delighted to be able to offer for sale this circa 1930s large collection of letterpress and printing press equipment.




Kernow Furniture - online store based in Cornwall for vintage, retro & antique furniture, gifts & home accessories and quirky Christmas presents.

We specialise in good quality 19th and 20th century furniture & have 100s of items for your home and garden in stock now. We regularly stock Ercol, G Plan, Ladderax, mid century, arts & crafts, antique pine, mahogany, solid oak, good quality vintage & antique furniture. We love vintage chairs!

December 17, 2016 — Benita Ellis-Kelly

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.