Near Eighth Street in Lower Price Hill is a piece of Cincinnati history that Gary Walton learned in middle school that turned into a 40-year career.
Cincinnati’s rich printing history and passion for the craft led Walton, a longtime professor at Cincinnati State, to partner with BLOC Ministries to open this up Cincinnati guy & To press museum and the BLOC Letterpress Business.
The museum, which is scheduled to be officially open to the public early this summer, offers visitors the opportunity to not only see the history of the printing press from a Cincinnati perspective, but also experience it firsthand.
One of the museum’s goals is to showcase the history of Cincinnati letterpress – from former printers to those that continue to have success in the region, such as: B. CJK Print Possibilities.
Printing is seen more on handcrafted cards and announcements these days, but national and local printing has a solid history. The printing machine invented by Johannes Gutenberg in 1440 has evolved over the centuries from wood blocks and printing to large heavy metal printing machines. According to Walton, the Cincinnati Type Foundry was a major manufacturer of fonts, dies, and other equipment from 1826 to 1892 (when it merged with American Type Founders).
Henry Barth, a German immigrant, was employed by the foundry in the late 1840s / early 1850s and helped make Cincinnati the center of industry. He helped invent a number of specialty machines for the Cincinnati market, including the first cylinder presses, a twin casting machine, and an automatic casting machine. When it merged with the American Type Founders Company, Barth’s work was entirely owned and patented as he was an expert in the field.
Aside from the historical nature of the museum, BLOC intends to make the print shop a job creator, especially for the residents of Lower Price Hill. Both BLOC and Walton hope that the number of students pursuing careers in printing will increase as they learn about the history of printing, the artistic nature behind it and the skills required.
The building that houses the museum has been renovated for $ 250,000. While this may seem like a past to some, printing is still a growing career. Plans to expand the facility, add more machines and historical context, and offer courses are also in the works.
Visit the museum’s website for more information. More information will be available as the opening approaches.