The Scott Free Press


Included in the 1982 edition of the International Register, the source of the online edition. Details.

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The Scott Free Press, Duane C. Scott, proprietor, was started in the 1970’s, by my father, who bought his first press, intending to use it to print titles for slide shows. He soon began to realize the many other possibilities that owning a press may confer, and began acquiring a proper shop. Before long he had several presses—the largest, I believe, a 10X15 C&P. He printed quite a number of commercial jobs in Kansas City, including wedding invitations, party invitations, Bar and Bat Mitzvas, the graduation announcements for the entire graduating class of the University of Texas Health Science Center Medical School of 1984, and did the bread and butter numbering and scoring jobs which can be done most easily on letterpress presses. He began buying and selling presses and other letterpress related items, and was a long-time member of the APA and the AAPA. He printed for It’s a Small World, Treasure Gems, Ink Cahoots, and eight books which he printed and bound himself; the last six books were miniature books. Nora Awakened, one of his miniature books, was printed on paper which he made himself in miniature folio pages, and registered by placing each page on pins. Most of his books were printed in editions of no more than 200; Nora Awakened, c. 1984, was printed in an edition of handmade paper of “about 100.” Another 150 were printed on Mohawk Superfine paper. His first miniature book was “How I Edited an Agricultural Paper,” a short story by Mark Twain, c. October, 1982, printed in an edition of “about 250 copies.” Other miniature books include “Uncle Remus Stories,” by Joel Chandler Harris, c. 1983, in an edition of 250 numbered copies, signed by the printer, “The Bobtail Streetcar,” by Terence W. Cassidy, c. 1986, in an edition of 175, numbered and signed by the printer, and containing an original US postage stamp of the “Bobtail Streetcar” in question. Other miniature books include “Oriental Sayings,” an exercise in using small types, c. 1987, printed in an edition of 250, 125 given as keepsakes at the 1987 Miniature Book Conclave. Another 125 copies were numbered and signed. This is the only one of the miniature books in soft covers, and was covered with handmade denim paper in folios, made at the Scott Free Press. His sixth miniature book, “The Dandy Frightening the Squatter, Mark Twain’s First Published Short Story,” c. 2005, was printed in an edition of 250 copies, numbered and signed by Scott. It is believed to be the only copy of Mark Twain’s first short story still in publication. A limited number of copies of each of the miniature books, except “How I Edited an Agricultural Paper,” which is sold out, are available through the Fox Paw Press, (website currently under construction but will be on-line soon.) The press moved several times, starting in Kansas City, then at various addresses in Eveleth, MN. The logo of the Scott Free Press is “Independent as a Hog on Ice.” Now retired from printing, Duane Scott’s collection of 64 miniature books is now housed at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin, Texas as The Duane C. Scott Miniature Book Collection. He was honored by the Ransom Center with a show of his miniature books in 2011.
Born August 29, 1920, he celebrated his 92nd birthday with his family this summer in Grand Rapids, MN, where he now lives with his wife Dolly, at River Grand assisted living center. Submitted by Rachel Scott, Duane Scott’s oldest daughter and proprietor of the Fox Paw Press, September 7, 2012.

Thanks Rachel.

I have fond memories of your father. I bought two type foundry specimen books from him long ago and a copy of Uncle Remus Stories too. Hope he is doping well. 92 is a lot of wake ups.