Trip to the Jarrold Printing Museum
Hey everyone, your friendly neighbourhood Online Officer here. Today we had the pleasure of visiting the Jarrold Printing Museum, near Norwich Cathedral. It's situated almost directly on the river in the sleepy, historical and bookish area of Tombland, but this quiet atmosphere soon gives way as you step over the threshold of the museum.
There's the din of active and fully-functional printing machines, accompanied by the several ongoing guided tours, and this is coupled with a visual busy-ness – the sheer assortment of different pieces of machinery and equipment, cases stocked with individual characters for each typeface, stacks of cameras and other photographic equipment.
The tour lasted around an hour and detailed the history of printing, from Johannes Gutenberg's first printing press in the mid 15th c. through very simple (although perhaps more esoteric) methods using slabs of limestone, and to the more modern Monotype and then Linotype systems.
Here's our guide and printing veteran demonstrating the Miehle Verticle Press:
They also had a table of printed materials made by those who work there and give the tours, all for free! Here's a few photos that by no means do any justice to the great craft and skill involved in the whole process:
We'll definitely make further trips to the museum, and it's open every Wednesday for anyone interested outside of Egg Box trips – see here on their website for details!
Further links for those interested:
Farewell (1978), the death of typesetting and its final day at the New York Times
And from Vice's Motherboard here's an even more modern look at the New York Times printing process, this time focusing on the machinists who service the press: Meet the Machinists Who Keep the New York Times Running
Printing Films.com, an archive of documentaries that show printing processes