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Last weekend was the Amalgmated Printer’s Association Wayzgoose, also called the Playgoose, and the Iowayzgoose because it took place in Mt. Pleasant Iowa.

Mt. Pleasant is a middle-of-nowhere kind of town. Unmarked roads, faded vinyl siding, its not too much to see really. But they have the Midwest Old Threshers, a big fairgrounds with several buildings on it, all housing turn-of-the-century equipment for industry and farming, even a few exhibits on homestead technology from when the Pioneers settled and farmed Iowa and the surrounding region.

The Midwest Old Threshers is also home to a wonderland of giant steam powered machines, including a steam-powered electric generator from a mental hospital that generated its own power up until the 1960s:

A life-size Steam Locomotive Train on a 1.25 mile track around the grounds:

And even a Printer’s Hall with a steam powered printing press!

This year, the Annual Great Northern and Midwest Printer’s Fair ALSO coincided with the Annual APA Wayzgoose, making this event a double-your-fun, double-your-excitement weekend.

I camped out over the weekend, out by the trolley tracks (yes, they have a working trolley too!) and a lot of time exploring all the museums had to offer. Steve Alt, one of the volunteers there and an all around awesome guy (who not only prints on a 100 year old press powered by an antique gasoline engine, but also restores antique cars and engines), gave me a few great tours of the place. He took me into the boiler room and its his voice you hear in the first video explaining the mechanics of the generator. He also got me into the cab of the No. 9 and on the caboose for a ride around the track!

He let me print a few pieces on his Gordon Press for the APA print exchange bundle, which was so much fun! I used it powered by the engine, and also foot-treadled it manually. Its a fantastic little press!

A Few Prints

A Few Prints

The Swap Meet was great! There were a lot more vendors than last year, and a lot more people from the outside I think. I sold a good amount of things from Mr. Meers, and then put a lot of the rest into the auction. We made some good coin at the auction! I was very pleased. I ended up selling 75% of what I had lugged up there. Awesome!

I got to put a lot  of faces to names, which was good too. Many people I’d “met” on printing forums or mailing lists, and never spoken to face to face. Now, I’m proud to actually be able to call them acquaintances. I got to rub elbows with of the fellows from the Hamilton Wood Type Museum,  Jim Moran. We talked about workshops and events up in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. I hope I can make it out there in December for a presentation by Jim Sherraden of Hatch Show Print.

It was a really great weekend, and I can’t wait for next years Wayzgoose in Huntington, W. Virginia!

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The worst part of making so many note cards, like I do, is having to score and fold them all one at a time with a triangle and bone folder on my knees on the living room floor. Yes, the floor, because I there’s no where else, and the kitchen table is where the sewing machine lives so-

No more! I’ve found this handy little number among the heaps of junk in the Meers collection.

Score!

Score!

How cool!!!! An antique scoring machine. I love it already. It will score at least two sheets of card stock at once, nice and smooth. Its lever action would make short work of maybe four or more sheets. I’ll have to try it today.

When I pulled it out, it was covered in rust and really dirty. I wiped it down and took some 200 grit sand paper to it. It was tedious, because of all the ins and out and little grooves to sand out. Then, I wiped the whole thing down with a thin coat of machine oil, and oiled all the joints. I wish I had a “before” picture, but I was too excited to bother with pictures at the time.

The Paper Guide

The Paper Guide

The back of it has a lovely little paper guide that I thought was frozen one with rust but a little sanding and oil and it slides nice and smooth now. I don’t know why its green. I don’t think it was painted, I have a feeling someone used it as an ink mixing surface. :/ Hacks.

Its just so simple and beautiful and practical! It makes me actually WANT to score hundreds of note cards and envelopes! yay!

Like, seriously, really, completely the grossest thing in the world. Excepting maybe eating a snail. That’s number one. Termites, Numero Dos.

A few weeks ago, we had a big clean out of Mr. Meers property. His three adult children and a few grand-kids came to Chicago to help go through all the trash and junk. They cleaned out the third floor, the garage, the basement, the building next door and the basement for the building next door: Three full dumpsters. You know those big long roll-off can type, not the bins behind buildings, no. The giant ones. Full. Three of them. I wish I had thought to snap a photo of just ow full these things were with all the trash we threw away.

Down in the basement of the house, we cleaned out a giant pile of paper that had been a termite colony for some time, and then abandoned by them (termite nuclear war?). I was so relieved to see that pile get thrown away. Going in that corner of the basement made me sick, because I could HEAR the termites burrowing. GROSS.

The worst part was the beautiful Hamilton oak type cabinet under neath the paper. Sweet Jesus, Mary and Joseph, it was like the termites thought they were bees, and living in a type case beehive. Gotta see it to believe it:

Termite Cabinet

Termite Cabinet

We literally had to get a wide flat shovel and shovel each case into a bucket. They were obliterated. Turned to dust. The type was encrusted with termite poop, I guess, or whatever they build their tunnels of. The cabinet beside it has some damage to the top, but the cases are unscathed, thank gods. I took a photo for comparison.

termites or no termites?

termites or no termites?

On the right: Termites. On the left: Sans Termites.

Once we shoveled out the cases (cry!), the empty hull of the stand reminded me of shipwrecks, or skeletons or something else eerie and desolate…

Ghost Cabinet

Ghost Cabinet

So, one cabinet destroyed, a lot of paper lost, but all in all, it was a small sacrifice from this huge collection. And now that its been taken care of, i can get to all the other stuff that needs attention.

Well, things are going alright over here in Chicago. I’m working my butt off getting this equipment sold, and getting things in an organized manner about the shop area. I keep uncovering more and more and more STUFF.

Along with so much printing equipment I could be set for decades, I find lots of trinkets and things laying around. They are stuffed in drawers, under boxes and tucked in corners. This is one of the best finds this week:

Gas Mask!

Gas Mask!

That’s the kind of thing you find in a Veteran POW’s basement! I also uncovered a whole other galley rack, but it was too dark for pictures, and he hates when I take too many pictures.

Today, we moved an ELrod Slug caster, 4 empty Ludlow mats cabinets, a standing stitcher, a Ludlow Supersurfacer, and we did it all by ourselves. Well, we had a truck with a lift gate, some skids and a come-along. So that helped. But it was still hard work. I’m filthy too. I suppose I should go shower. I can’t think straight enough to make this post any more interesting anyway.

Its been another lead and cast-iron filled coupla weeks in Chicago, and boy am i bushed. My computer was out of commission for a week because I spilled coffee on the keyboard. but I bought and installed a new keyboard, so its up and running! I lost a list of people who had purchased spacing from me, but I think I’m getting them all back so far.

Mr. Meers and I did a lot of cleaning. We had many appointments for purchasing some of the equipment, and made a few significant sales! We’ve got an offer on a large lot of his hot metal casting stuff, but I’m wondering if we’ll find any takers for the Linotype things. Seems people are giving it away for the hauling out of the basement. We can’t compete with that kind of pricing!

I’ve had some success with Briarpress.org, and with craigslist ads, which is good. Craigslist keeps things local and Briarpress helps me reach the right people. If I can keep up this pace, maybe we’ll actually make a decent dent in the piles and a few dollars for Mr. Meers!

I found some cool WW2 memorabilia that Mr. Meers had from being Prisoner of War. I set a big box of stuff aside for his family to go through and told them any letters or things from when Mr. Meers was in the Air Corp that they don’t want, I will take and give a good home. I’d hate to see it thrown away, but it seems like Mr. Meers daughter doesn’t want much pf anything by the way of heirlooms.

I even got a few more areas cleaned up in the print shop. The C&P, Mr. Meers favorite, is uncovered! Its dusty and needs a good cleaning, but its intact. The Heidelberg is uncovered to, and his daughter exclaimed, “I haven’t laid eyes on the Heidelberg in years!”. Which amazes me. There was so much paper and junk and boxes of random stuff piled on top of it you couldn’t see it and its probably about 2/3 the size of a VW Beetle original style!

I cleaned off another type cabinet full of shiny new never used type! Its a gorgeous steel front Hamilton cabinet, with a slant top for composing and a rack for leads and slugs. (I will put up some pictures in a bit, I gotta find the hose for the camera…)

So right now, I’m back in STL for a few days to love on my patient and understanding boyfriend, get a kitty fix and clean my house, and then Wednesday i’m off to Chicago again for a whole month to continue this project.

What Day is it Anyway?

September 2017
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