The Clark Library’s Head Cataloger was at the International Printing Museum in Carson, CA to celebrate 100 Years of Wood Type with the Southern California chapter of the American Printing History Association. If you’ve never been there, you should know that there are literally hundreds of printing presses, a few linotype machine, monotype casters, acres of moveable type and other typographic goodies. They have classes, demonstrations, a small yet impressive reference library, and an army of knowledgeable volunteers. What’s even better? Most of the presses on display to the public are in working order.
On this particular Saturday in August, the Washington hand-press (no. 473) manufactured by the Cincinnati firm, C. Foster & Bro., was set up for attendees to try their hand at the pull. During the time it took to ink up the forme, it was revealed that this particular press was once owned by the “famous Los Angeles-based wood engraver, Paul Landacre.”
When asked about the chain on one support, the docent explained that Mr. Landacre had put this press out in his yard one afternoon in anticipation of its move to a new studio. Surely, a large iron hand-press was too much for someone to steal, but, as a precaution, he secured it to a fence with this chain and a padlock.
Apparently, Mr. Landacre did not spend the night at the old place (or perhaps he was a heavy sleeper), but when he awoke the next morning, the press was gone.
But how did it find its way to the IPM? Stay tuned…