Northshore Magazine

May / June 2015

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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154 | MAY + JUNE 2015 BY KILEY JACQUES Across the street from North Andover's town common, in an easily missed brick building, a world of words awaits. Print Edition photographs by Rachael Kloss/Dragonfly Photography in-depth LIVE For those who love the artisanship of antique machines, the lure of ink-stained type, and the power of the printed word, the Museum of Printing (MoP) in North Andover is an absolute thrill. Housed in a sturdy old brick building that once served as the American Textile History Museum, MoP has been called "a little-known treasure trove of presses, type, typesetters, and other vintage equipment"—a description that barely scratches the surface of its many marvels. One of only three large printing museums in North America (the others are in Houston and Los An- geles), the 25,000-square-foot build- ing contains two galleries, a library, archival stacks, classroom space, and a large second-floor room chock-full of type for sale. Twelve thousand square feet of exhibition space features all manner of print- ing presses and paraphernalia— from the 1888 Hoe rotary flatbed press that printed the Hingham Gazette for 80 years to the 1896 Whitlock drum cylinder press used for printing the Millbury Journal up until 2005 to the last Linotype machine ever made. It is also the repository of most of the original Linotype font drawings—donated by the Smithsonian Institute and dating back nearly 100 years (the remainder are in Europe). The museum's library holds a considerable collection of books about printing and industry paragons, as well as an assembly of letter drawings for font design from the 1930s and a collection of botani- cal engravings from the Arnold Ar- boretum—all of which are available to researchers by appointment. "A lot of things will get recycled and used for a while, but there was such a major change that the old [equipment] was just getting thrown out," says MoP executive director Kim Pickard, with respect to the museum's genesis. Incorpo- rated in 1978, it is the result of ef- forts made by a group of individu- als—The Friends of the Museum of Printing—many of whom worked for the Boston Globe and collected out-of-use printing machines for 20-plus years with an eye toward opening a museum. Today, MoP lays out a timeline of the manufacturing of letters and their passage to print. Starting with The museum traces the history of the printing industry.

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