As you’ve likely read in our past blog about our rebranding, at The Ambit Works, we love a good nod to the past. The current printing technology that we utilize today is truly astonishing, but all of that could not have been possible without the old-school printing techniques. We recently acquired a vintage piece of printing furniture and wanted to take some time today to look back on how far the printing industry has come in the past hundred years.

Vintage Printing Blog Post_5.28.15

This photo shows The Ambit Works latest office piece of art – it’s called a “Printer’s Stone”. It’s a tool to help manually set type in order to print using a letter press. It’s called a “printers stone” because the first ones were made from flat stone, but ours is actually topped with iron.  These had to be completely flat so that the type would be set on the same plane to make an even print.  All of the bits of wood are called “furniture” and used to space things out and buffer the sides of the type. We’re really excited about the restoration of this piece and the idea that it will be displayed alongside the latest technology that we use today.

The juxtaposition between old and new together in one place is unique in our industry. Not many people get the chance to work alongside a historical piece that helped their industry grow into what it is today. When you think about all of the hundreds of millions of people that print out papers at home or the office every day, it gives a deeper appreciation for the means of how we got to this point. Hundreds of years ago it took long periods of time to copy and “print” out projects, while today it can take just one second for your finger to hit the right button. Imagine where the industry will be in another hundred years.

For us here at The Ambit Works, we love taking a few moments to respect how things have evolved in this business – not only does it make us excited to see how far we’ve come, but it also continues to invigorate us in our everyday work and look forward to what the future brings.

If you’re interested in even more antique printing information, check out The Museum of Printing, located close by in the North Shore of Massachusetts:


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