Throwback Thursday Object: Large Type Printing Press

If you have trouble seeing well enough to perform daily tasks, even with glasses or after surgery, then you have low vision.  February is Low Vision Awareness Month.  We dug a photograph out of a scrapbook of newspaper clippings that we’ve been working on to recognize the event.  This is a shot from January 1971 showing a line of Davidson 600 offset printing presses.  Legendary APH production chief Virgil Zickel stands at far right beside Howard Oliver and a salesman, Frank Gatchel.  The operator on the front machine—APH had six of these models at the time—is Roy Carroll.  APH started manufacturing textbooks in large type for low vision students in 1947.  By the 1970s we had rows and rows of offset presses from Davidson, Miehle-Goss-Dexter, and A.B. Dick.  If you want to learn how the offset printing process worked, look here.  In the 1980s, we started experimenting with photocopiers from Minolta, and today our entire production of about eleven million pages of large type comes off only two very sophisticated machines, Xerox iGens.
Micheal A. Hudson
Museum Director
American Printing House for the Blind

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