I have long had an interested in printing and publishing and today, during a visit to Vermilion, Ohio, learned of the Vermilion News Print Shop Museum. Just off the city’s main street stands a two-story house with a storefront where the front door might have been located. The building and equipment served as a print shop and a weekly paper from 1905 – 1964, the whole time owned and operated by the same family. Family members lived upstairs from the business and worked various jobs downstairs.
A family member today is developing the shop as a museum illustrating not only the history of the family business but of printing technology and, increasingly, that of Vermilion.
It amazing how much heavy-duty printing equipment is crammed into the shop: “The print shop houses two linotypes (c. 1915) and four letter presses: Stonemetz 2 Revolution Newspaper Press (c. 1919), Kelly Press (c. 1917), Chandler and Price 8″ x 12″ Gordon Jobber Press (c. 1900), Heidelberg Windmill Press (c. 1954).”
There is much work ahead as the museum, only a year old, is developed. At least one of the presses will be put in working order and used for demonstrations. There are historic engraved plates and glass photographic negatives to be printed and documented. There are artifacts and treasures to be discovered and displayed. Personal tours are offered during museum hours and admission is by donation; visit, enjoy, and be generous!