A week ago, my family and I paid a visit to the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. We spent about an hour or so there with Norb Brylski as our guide. Norb was one of the last people to be employed making wood type at Hamilton. He’s retired now, but volunteers at the museum and still makes new wood type for commissions brought to the museum, such as the recent wood typeface designed by Matthew Carter.
Hamilton was one of the largest wood type foundries in the U.S. and had a virtual monopoly by about 1900. It stopped making wood type in the 1980s. The museum opened in 1999 and houses the largest collection of wood type in the world, with 1.5 million pieces. They also have all the equipment to make the stuff (it all still works) and a small print shop which visiting artists (for example) can use.
Anyway, it was pretty cool, especially if you like type. I put together a little slide show (above). If you don’t see anything, you probably don’t have the Flash 7 player. (Get it here.) The slide show will play by itself, but you can click on the pause button to stop it and browse at your own pace. If you move your mouse over the photos, a caption will appear describing the photo.
(The slide show was made using SlideShowPro.)
Update, February 2013: Well, something about my new site has broken this Flash slide show thing. Flash is kind of obsolete now anyway, so I will figure out a nicer way to share these photos.