Letterpress event of the year

We are now a month away from what should certainly be the letterpress event of the year. This year, the Annual Wayzgoose of the Amalgamated Printers’ Association will combine with the Annual Midwest and Great Northern Printer’s Fair in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa on September 17-19.

This is a unique opportunity to have such a wealth of knowledgable letterpress people gathered togehter at one time to share their knowledge.

We will have discussions, demonstrations, workshops and seminars on Thursday and Friday from 8:00 in the morning until well into the evening. Bring your specimens of mystery typefaces for identification. Bring your questions. Bring samples of your work. We are a working museum and all of our equipment should be available for use.

Our equipment includes a c.1900 Babcock cylinder press powered by a steam engine, an 1890 Miehle Pony flatbed press, 3 Heidelberg Windmills, 3 Vandercooks, 3 Washington-style handpresses, a Kluge, a C&P, 4 Linotypes, an Intertype, a Ludlow, an Elrod, 2 cutters, lots of handset type and much more. Sky Shipley from the Skyline Type Foundry will be casting type on a Thompson caster.

For schedules, registration forms, motel info and directions go to www.apajournal.net and click on the July 2009 issue. Our links are on the last page. You can also go to www.oldthreshers.org and click on Printers’ Hall or click on events and scroll down to the Printer’s Fair. There are pictures from past years there also.

There will be a terrific letterpress swap meet on Saturday morning, followed by an auction in the afternoon. This is a terrific “gathering of the clan” for letterpress printers, new and expert alike. We really want to make this a great educational and information sharing experience.

I should mention that we do have a terrific $59/night room rate at the Rodeway Inn. Just mention that you are with the Wayzgoose.

We already have people registered from the four corners of the U.S. as well as from Canada and Europe!!!!!

I hope to see you there!!!!!!!

Rick von Holdt

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Hi Rick,

I sent in my registration a few weeks ago and the check has been cashed but I did not receive any kind of ticket or response. Will my name be on a list at the door or something? I am very excited about this event!


Nevermind - I emailed Jim and I am all ready to go - tickets will be there at the door! So excited!


I will be conducting a few workshops on Thursday and Friday how on to register multiple passes on a proof press. I have a variety of techniques that should work on just about any proof press, whether large cylinder diameter or small (like Showcard, Nolan, etc. presses).

Our presses should all be running or available, so those with questions or wanting to learn techniques or basic how-to information are welcome to come and ask questions. We should have a small army of people, many with decades of letterpress experience (both professional and hobby) to help you out.

The swap meet on Saturday morning should offer something for everyone. We should have lots and lots ot tables offering the basics to the exotic. I’ve been collecting for over 30 years and still manage to find goodies to haul home that I don’t already have. For those that can’t make in on Thursday or Friday for the “play days” in the museum, a Saturday visit is still worth the trip. Be there early at 8:00 a.m. when the doors open, because a lot of the good stuff and real bargains go fast. The afternoon auction is also worth hanging around for. Last year I picked up a 2/3 cabinet with thirteen 2/3 cases in it at the auction for the grand sum of $10.

Make sure you bring a vehicle large enough to haul your treasures home!!!!!!!

Is there any hourly schedule yet of what workshops will be held when?

Not yet, but I’ll post them here as soon as we get things figured out. We will also have lots of impromptu workshops and seminars as people ask questions or express interest in various things. I also know that John Henry will be there to show people how to emboss on small presses.

We want to make this as educational an event as possible without too many rigid guidelines. If you happen to miss something you were interested in, it can probably be done again or more than one time. We are going to be as flexible as possible and will try to tackle everything that people are interested in. Anyone with anything special to offer is also welcome to come and talk or demonstrate their idea or technique. We will be there on Wednesday for anyone arriving early, but Thursday and Friday will really be the “play days” staring at 8:00 a.m. and going until 8:00 p.m. each day. 24-hours of FUN!!!!!!! Saturday, almost all of the action will be concentrated on the morning swap meet and the afternoon auction. The museum will also be open, but it will probably be harder to get a demo or workshop going with all of the other distractions.

Everybody, I hope you’re planning to go if you possibly can. We went to the Midwest Printers’ Fair last year, a much smaller event than this year’s, and we had the best time. So we plan to have proportionately even more fun this year. My husband doesn’t print but loved the demo of the (actual) steampunk newspaper press and all the other museum gear.

I really need a workshop on color registration but can’t get there until Friday (why I asked about it), so here’s hoping you’ll have one that day…so I can quit printing lips on foreheads.

I wish I had learned about your site sooner. I had no idea it existed until 6 weeks ago.
I sold my business last April and am presently looking at selling all my old letterpress equipment or scrapping it. Maybe I should try to hold off on scrapping it.

Enjoy the fair.

Where are you located. What equipment do you have.


Do you need to register and/or pay to go to the swap meet on Saturday morning? Thanks!

Sorry that it has taken so long to respond here. I have actually been down at the Printers’ Hall Museum all of last week helping get ready for and then operating the museum during the Annual Old Threshers Reunion.

Anyone is welcome to come to the Midwest & Great Northern Printer’s Fair on Friday and Saturday. Admission is only $5 for that event. Friday is a “play day” at the museum with almost all of the equipment in operation. Saturday is the morning swap meet and afternoon auction. This is all being held jointly with the Annual Wayzgoose of the Amalgamated Printers’ Association. There is a much higher registration fee for that, but that starts a day earlier and then blends with the Great Northern. The Wayzgoose registration fee also includes a lunch, keepsake T-shirt, evening snacks, and a banquet supper on Saturday night.

Right now I have about FORTY FIVE sales tables rented, so this should be the all-time best letterpress swap meet EVER!

I currently I have 65 APA members and an additional 7 non-APA members registered for the Wayzgoose. I also expect possibly a hundred additional folks to show up for the Great Northern Printer’s Fair part, so this will be an incredible opportunity to meet and mingle with letterpress people. A real “gathering of the clan.”

I hope to see as many of you there as possible.

We have a special $59/night room rate at the Rodeway Inn in Mt. Pleasant, IA for anyone attending. Just tell them you are with the APA Wayzgoose.

Just a follow-up on the Letterpress Event of the Year.

We had close to 100 people register and show up for the Amalgamated Printers’ Association’s Wayzgoose and an addtitional 60+ folks show up for the Great Northern Printer’s Fair. Total attendance was 162!!!!! For the swap meet on Saturday morning, there were 48 sales tables.

We even had a steam train running outside all day and offerred a free ride on it in the afternoon. This was an unbelievable weekend and I thank everyone that attended.