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Nov 2 / Scott

Getting ready for the Hamilton Wayzgoose

The Hamilton Factory complex in the early 1900's

The Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum will be hosting this year’s Wayzgoose Letterpress Printing conference November 7th through 10th in their new location.  The Museum has moved from it’s historic location on the 1st floor of the several block long,  Hamilton complex in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, to a modern unused manufacturing building.  If you go to their web site,, you can find out more about the move and all the preople around the world who have helped provide funds and labor to make saving the wood type museum possible.

The good people who help to run the museum have been very helpful, and are one of the reasons I have been able to cut wood type.  They have provided answers to many of my questions about the entier wood type cutting process, from frozen maple logs to trimmed finished type.  They have allowed me to photograph, measure, and experiment with the historical equipment.  I have been able to open drawers containing beautiful new type and look at boxes of very old patterns to understand the pattern making process.

230 eight pointed Hamilton stars

I recently spent two days cutting 230 pieces of the same eight pointed historical wood type star to send to Hamilton for the attendee gift bags.  The full day of cutting the same piece over and over gave me a little taste of what the real wood type cutters had to deal with during their 12 hours work days in the 1880’s.  It was not hard work, but very tedious as I tried to make each piece of wood type perfect and in the shortest amount of time.

Two Rivers, Wisconsin was a factory town.  Everyone worked for Hamilton.  Some in the old growth forest cutting maple and oak, some in the saw mills and on the assembly lines. Others doing all the hundreds of jobs that comes with running the massive factory.

I will take lots of pictures over the coming Wayzgoose and post them in a few weeks.  I also printed two color posters on my daughter’s Vandercook to trade with other printers on the last day of the event.


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