Museum of Printing Field TripKristen Dettoni
Thank you so much to EFI for inviting me to an afternoon at the Museum of Print in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Spending the afternoon with a fun group of print lovers and gawking over machines was such a treat. I have been to the museum a few times before (I’m lucky to live close by) and always learn something new about printing every time I visit.
This time was no different. Frank Romano, President of The Friends of the Museum of Printing, is a wealth of knowledge who never fails to educate and entertain. If you visit, be sure to ask him about the time Steve Jobs consulted him for the original fonts for the Mac. You can even see Jobs’ Lisa and Next computers at the museum. The museum truly is a treasure trove of equipment and interesting stories.
Fun Facts about the Museum of Printing
The museum is a resource for production designers for both movies and television shows. For example, they loaned equipment such as copy machines for the filming of Mad Men. But you don’t have to be a huge production team to access their collection. In 2021, we borrowed an old typewriter for the photoshoot for The Cryptology Collection.
Though a museum, they also have a lot of equipment for sale, such as old presses. Periodically they host garage sales to sell excess equipment donated to the museum, but which they cannot accommodate.
The museum offers printing workshops, lectures, and special exhibits throughout the year. Many of the workshops are open for children as well as adults.
In addition to the history of printing more broadly, the museum also has many pieces of local interest. Personally, I loved seeing the original press that ran the Hingham Journal, my hometown’s local paper.
Seeing this exhibit inspired me to dig through a box of old things and find an article from the Hingham Journal written in my senior year of high school about one of my first business ventures, a tailor shop for teachers out of the home economics room! (Clearly, I had entrepreneurial ambitions right from the start!)
As a lover of modern digital printing, I find it endlessly fascinating to learn about the evolution of printing. In fact, I was so inspired after my first visit I designed a collection of patterns, Moveable Type, and donate a portion of the royalties from these designs to the museum. If you’re looking for the perfect pattern for a library, graphic design studio, or print shop, check out the full collection.
If you’re a print lover who wants to help support the museum’s mission, consider becoming a member or just visiting often and bringing your friends.