Platen Press Museum Visit

Chicagoland beckoned me back a few weeks ago and one of the places on my list to visit was The Platen Press Museum in Zion, IL. This place filled wall to wall with the impressive and quirky collection of Paul Aken who has spent his retirement in pursuit of unusual printing presses and ephemera. The Platen Press is: A working museum dedicated to preserving the arts of hot metal casting and composition, letterpress, multigraphing, stone lithography and bookbinding.platen1

The Platen Press Museum is jam-packed with all kinds of presses ranging  from toy-sized to eight tons in weight.

platen3cropThis is a pile of lead used in the Ludlow and Linotype machines where ‘mats’ or letter molds are composed and then hot lead is poured into them to create solid lines of type. Paul showed me both machines in action, which I had never seen before. Suffice to say they are really cool. The Linotype is referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World since it’s such a remarkable machine. Paul even made several Ludlow casts for MITCH Collective!

ludlow MITCH
Can’t wait to use these in business cards and other items! Thanks, Paul!


About mitchcollective

MITCH Collective is a community-driven catalyst promoting creativity in the Ohio Valley. MITCH Collective enriches Martins Ferry, Ohio and nearby towns by: -inviting artists, writers, and musicians to experience the beauty and creative potential of the area while creating new work and interacting with local residents through the residency program. -inspiring a historically economically depressed area by teaching new skills and ideas that will help foster new problem solving approaches for challenges that face the community. -collaborating with nonprofit and municipal organizations in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania to bring innovative, interdisciplinary projects to life. Facilities include printmaking, screen printing, sewing, quilting, and bookbinding. Visit for more information.
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