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I had the enormous pleasure to visit this lovely man, Paul Aken’s, Platen Press Museum in Zion, IL, for all-too-brief-a-time yesterday. He has a staggeringly amazing collection.
Paul particularly likes “toy” presses, which were small presses marketed for children and young people and sometimes for small entrepreneurs to do basic printing—sometimes no bigger than a modern business card.
But he also has an incredible set of larger presses, type casters, metal type, lithographic transfer stones, Multigraphs, a 6,000-volume library…and he’s squeezed it all into (I’d guess) 3,000 sq ft. It could fill a 30,000 sq ft museum. Maybe bigger. (Paul Moxon in library)
It’s folks like Paul who often provide vital, unheralded preservation of industrial and artistic history that’s overlooked until everything is gone! This is similar to Bill Blackbeard’s vast comic-pages collection, now at @CartoonLibrary
If you’re interested in printing/type or just want to see an unbelievable collection of a hunk of America (and some UK) industrial and aesthetic history, Paul is closing up the warehouse for the winter, but call or email him in the spring—close to Chicago! platenpressmuseum.com/visit-us-2/
I should just emphasize that this isn’t a bunch of miscellaneous stuff. Paul knows about everything he acquired or found out. His library is museum class—you’d have to go to a major institution to find a historical collection like his. This is a hidden gem.
I just posted a large album of photos with annotations about what you’re seeing over at Flickr: flic.kr/s/aHsmJjbgkY Post questions there in the comments or feel free to ask me here.
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