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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!

The what now? The Wayzgoose! Only the most important letterpress printing event of the year, duh.

Wayzgoose 2009

If you are a letterpress printer, printmaker, graphic Designer, historian, tech geek, type geek, letterpress printer n00b or just curious about steam power, you NEED to be at the Old Thrasher’s Museum in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa September 17 – 19, 2009.

The Amalgamated Printer’s Association will hold its annual Wayzgoose event where you’ll meet other members, participate in demonstrations, work on your own prints, play with machines like a Heidelberg Windmill, an iron hand press (Like Gutenberg used!), a steam powered Babcock press, Linotypes, Ludlows, and bears OH MY!

Then, Saturday is a big old Swap Meet and Auction! Come get a new hand press to play with, buy type, supplies and all manner if nifty things you didn’t know your letterpress shop needed but you MUST have. I’ll be there selling as well! I’ve got lots of treasures, but I’m not telling you about them, its a surprise.

So get your lazy can off the computer and start planning your September events calendar!

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