Where did all the letterpress equipment go?

I know letterpress is not used as when I was a trade printer. But, I was a trade printer from the mid 60’s until 80’s. Letterpress here in Houston was still used. Now, it like a switch was thrown and everything is gone.

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The industry changed, shops went out of business or converted, and the equipment was either sold for scrap or export, or to the people doing letterpress today, only a small part of them would now seem to be in the trade. The ’80s were a great time to get used letterpress equipment and supplies.

I think a lot of people are holding on to what they have. I have two presses, and only use one at the moment. But I’d rather keep the 2nd press as a parts press/reference press than get stuck with a job on the table and a hard to find part that needs replacing.

Letterpress is still in use in Austin as well. Over 10+ shops offering a variety of services.