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.
This 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!