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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!
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 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.
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 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!
Today, whilst browsing our beloved InterNets and researching this fine fellow: The Elliott Addressing Machine
Such cool stuff! He seems quite passionate about what he collects, and is actively buying selling and trading typewriters and other office and printing related equipment. (I have to in all fairness say that I followed a series of links from Early Office Museum.com to find Martin’s wonderful site!)
He has an amazing collection of typewriters listed on his site, with photos, descriptions and even documentation of items from newspapers and trade journals! You know what I didn’t know that I learned from Martin’s site? Some early typewriters didn’t have keyboards! They used dials, or selector mechanisms instead. (Gods I’d love to take one of those things apart… The springs! The cams! The gears! oh my!)
We had a nice email exchange about collecting, about printing, about what we might want to buy/sell/trade with each other, and I was even able to inform him about a few pieces he had in his collection that he wasn’t sure of their purpose (yay! now everybody got their shout-out).
If you’re interested in nostalgia, office equipment, the industrial revolution, steampunk or fancy hunks of metal, do visit his site. Its impressive and very enjoyable! Be sure to check out the detail photos when they’re there. Some of these typewriters have the most delicate little flowers and filigrees painted on them! What ever happened to that kind of craftsmanship?
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:
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.
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…
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.
I LOVE these cards. This Dragon Girl is so adorable! Look at her cute little feet, and her innocent smile. Plus, she’s got a dragon! Hanging on to him like he’s a plushie, and he wraps his tail around her so gently and lovingly. Yeah I REALLY love these cards!
The cut these cards are printed from is unique and antique. I found it in a box of old printing cuts I acquired. The really cool thing, is that it is 2 pieces that are not original to each other. The dragon girl is a professionally made magnesium cut from the 1940s. During its life someone decided that she needed to be a 2 color cut and then HAND CARVED into a wooden block the sections of blue for the dragon’s body. The juxtaposition of the two cuts is so interesting.
Printed on vintage coated yellow card stock in purple and teal with 4 white envelopes. Available on Etsy!
Another set of note cards available on Etsy!
Printed in crazy circus colors of blue and orange on vintage bright green paper, a maniacal clown bursts out of a paper ring and lets you know he doesn’t appreciate you stepping off the sidewalk…
The clown image was printed from an antique copper printer’s cut, or block. I thought it was just a clown until I pulled a test print and he was all screaming and pointing and… OLD. Weird.
Cards come in a set of four with 4 blue envelopes. Colophon has another creepy clown on the back of the card.