This past weekend I traveled up to the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum (again) to help with one of their volunteer move events. As you may know, they need to move from their current location (the original home of Hamilton) to a new space in Two Rivers by April first. If you’ve ever moved any printing equipment and/or type, then you know what a monumental task this is on a small scale let alone 30,000 square feet of printing history. Jim and Stephanie, the museum directors, have put a great and organized system together for labeling each piece for the move, and an impressive amount of packing has already taken place.
I got a chance to walk around and get a few great shots of the current state of progress. If you’ve been to the public area of the museum, this will look familiar. The system for packing involves shrink wrapping pallets in colors coordinating with where the pieces are at the current location. Many of the displays have been removed and are awaiting pallets.
Not only do you get to see the organization of these final staging areas (this is just one), but the sheer scale of the building itself.
Some very large wood type ready to go.
Pallets full of half rounds that could be (and hopefully will?) be used to create new wood type.
My job involved packing up the bits and pieces for printing (leads, reglets, furniture, etc.), as well as organizing the type cases in preparation for packing on the second floor of the building. This was a delightful job as I got to use years of experience with moving type as well as peek at many fabulous (and fabulously dirty) wood typefaces, some of which are here:
Found this type set in its case like this. And yes, I was.
This ampersand is approx. 5″ tall.
There is also a fair bit of metal type at the museum, and this was a treat to find. It’s 48 pt. Spread, a typeface we have at Starshaped in a tiny 8 pt version. Just lovely.
The back of one empty type case. We have some similar styles of written labels in the studio, though ours are from Chicago.
Our first load of wood type on a pallet, ready for labeling, shrink wrapping and banding. There is a sheet of bubble wrap and cardboard in between each case for extra protection.
We may not be up again until after the move and hope that all continues to go well. Money still needs to be raised and you can still help. And the always lovely Mari will gladly ship orders of some of the awesome prints and souvenirs you can find in their shop. Let’s hope our next post about Hamilton involves a happy new homecoming and opening celebration!