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Wednesday, May 12

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News Thu Dec 13 2012

A Relic from the Printing Past Asks for Help

The Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum has occupied the Hamilton factory in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, for the past 13 years. But recently the Museum got the boot from its landlord, leaving board members and employees scrambling to find a new home for the 1.5 million-piece wood type collection in the next 60 days.

Unsurprisingly, the niche historical preservation business has not been the source of great wealth, and the Museum is looking raise about $250,000 to fund the move. Columbia College's Center for Book and Paper Arts is holding a fundraiser for the institution this Saturday, December 15, at 1104 S. Wabash Ave. from 12-6pm.

For those interested in a little bit of history, the Museum's website offers a succinct explanation of the factory's founding and Midwestern significance.

Perhaps most strikingly, the factory was a major type supplier for a rapidly growing 19th century Midwestern newspaper industry, offering an alternative to the pricy practice of sourcing from the East Coast. The company has since become a (somewhat less exciting and relevant to our writerly purposes) manufacturer of steel office furniture, but still deserves its credit for helping newspapers do their essential duties in this part of the country.

The museum remains true to the company's original passions and offers up a portion of its 40,000 square feet for artist workshops and tutorials.

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