Preserving the Lost Art of Letterpress


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For the past 30 years, John Barrett has been gathering all of the equipment from printing houses closing down along the East Coast of the US. Members of the printing press community come from all over the country to small-town Chicopee, Massachusetts, just to visit his warehouse. He carries items that haven’t been produced in years, preserving a legacy and a knowledge that is quickly vanishing.Fifty years ago, printers were mostly men. Now Barrett’s customers are 90% women, usually young, discovering the old techniques of non-digital printing. Sarah Shebaro, one of the founders of the Knoxville print shop Striped Light, is one of them.

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