This blog was published about a year ago. Sadly the print works mentioned is no longer in business, whatever has happened to all this old type is anyone’s guess.
Last week I had the pleasure of a trip around a print factory. This may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it’s certainly mine. Stanley L Hunt Limited started way back during the First World War and isn’t it brilliant that they are still going strong now. A family business that has a load of history.
Let’s get some of my history in here now. I worked as a professional cartoonist for 30 years before I found a’proper’ job as a print ‘rep’ for a company in Gloucester, though they called me an ‘account manager’. They were a family firm also like Stanley L Hunt, so some parallels there. In a sense I’ve worked with print for over 40 years, either supplying images for it or trying my best more recently, to sell it. I’m an enthusiast for it and saddened by anyone who’s not. I can bore for England about fonts and my almost pathological dislike of comic sans. So imagine my delight at seeing a trays of Caslon, in metal, sitting neatly before me, just last week.
They told me also on my visit that they had found some of that wonderful wooden type, used for letterpress posters. In which case ( no pun intended ) they would have printed the posters on a machine like this. A wonderful Heidelberg press, now used by them to cut out shapes and forms.
There was more! This is a thread sewing binding machine. I’ve never seen one before. It’s for thread sewn books, the very creme de la creme of bookbinding. You don’t see many of these machines any more and this one, which I believe is Swiss made, still runs like clockwork.
A big thank you to all at Stanley L Hunt’s for making me so welcome and for the tour of the factory. A place full of history and skills that are rare these days.