Wooden Press Demonstration

Saturday, October 25, 2008—Jack Williams, of Effingham, New Hampshire, demonstrated his wooden common press at Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Friday, October 24, 2008. The demonstration was part of the New Hampshire Writers’ Project’s Portsmouth Literary Festival.

Jack built the press himself, from plans drawn by Clinton Sisson, of the Smithsonian Institute. Sisson’s plans were drawn up from careful measurements taken from a press in the Smithsonian’s collection which was once used by Benjamin Franklin.

This is a newer video of the press, with higher resolution and additional detail not present in the earlier version. The man in the introductory clip, wearing a baseball hat, is Harold Whitehouse, a former linotype operator for the Portsmouth Herald.

1 thought on “Wooden Press Demonstration”

  1. I am so glad I stumbled upon this video. I had the pleasure to work with Jack on the building of two identical wooden replica’s of the oldest press in the world belonging to the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp, Belgium.
    Jack became a good friend, but I lost track of him when he moved from Connecticut to New Hampshire. I would really love to get back in touch with him, it’s been 10 years since I last saw him. Is it possible to send me his e-mailaddress so that I can reach him again. My best regards to Jack, he hasn’t changed a bit on the video, smart printer. Take care Jack, hope to hear from you soon. Guy.

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