Neenah Paper featuring Crane® Papers brings to you The Beauty of Letterpress which celebrates letterpress printing and its creators. Print No.12 from the series has been produced with the historic 120 year old Jersey Cream wood blocks in a limited edition of 100 prints. This special edition print was created by the Museum Director for The Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum, Jim Moran, and all proceeds from the $100 purchase price go directly to help support The Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum build a humidity/climate-controlled room to house vintage blocks. A very worthy cause in our eyes.
The Jersey Cream blocks were originally cut at Hamilton Manufacturing between 1888-1891 as an ad for the Jersey Cream Company, and are the oldest blocks in the Museum’s collection. They were rescued from the basement of the Hamilton main office — where they sat unnoticed for nearly 100 years.
“We would have liked to produce more prints but there is a distinct possibility that we will never be able to print from these original blocks again. Cracks from age and dryness affect our collections of vintage blocks. We try to minimise the damage with oil, but a stable storage environment is necessary,” said Moran.
Moran has been letterpress printing for 35 years and chose to work with the Jersey Cream image because of its history and ties to Hamilton. “It feels amazing to bring images back to life that haven’t seen ink for over a century. As someone who grew up in a commercial shop, the chance to recreate a Hamilton piece of history, using nearly all of the same tools as when it first was impressed, is why I’m a printer. It’s like picking up an old instrument and playing a new song,” said Moran.