The other day while searching for future brown ink stationery needs, I landed on The Beauty of Letterpress website created by Neenah Paper out of Neenah, WI. This is an awesome site which not only supports letterpress throughout the country but praises the value of this work. However, what grabbed my attention right away was their support of the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum located in Two Rivers, WI.Just to give you a little background, before I was Wendy Longacre Brown I was Wendy Hamilton Brown. J. Edward Hamilton was my great, great, great Grandfather. I knew only a little history of my family’s connection to the museum but was intrigued instantly. In 1880 Hamilton founded the factory and within 20 years it became the largest manufacturer of wood type in the states.
What many people don’t realize is the role Wood Type played in our nation’s history. Aside from handwriting it was the main source of communication in every way from land sales to packaging to politics.
The Hamilton Museum is one-of-a-kind, the only museum dedicated to preserving, studying, and producing wood type (and they continue to print today). The collection is said to be one of the world’s premier wood collections with over a million pieces of wood type and over a thousand styles and sizes of patterns.
Like many businesses built years ago, the headquarters are extremely expensive to manage and the Hamilton Museum is in the process of moving to a new location. The good news is they have almost finished moving in with 20 of the 22 semi’s packed up. But of course, to keep this space running they need support.
At The Beauty of Letterpress one can purchase beautiful letterpress pieces of art, support the museum directly or become a member. Looking forward to keeping the history alive with a Hamilton letterpress paper printed by authentic Hamilton wood type. Only feels fitting for me to help save printing history, family or not!!