9 Feb 2011


It's been a busy few months researching the Titanic through books, films and online. I've recently got in contact with Mr. Timothy Trower, an avid Titanic buff and working letterpress historian. This has been a breakthrough as far as any narrative is concerned because Tim is hoping to publish an in depth review of the letterpress facilities on board the Titanic and has a lot of valuable information for me. The fact that my project will be printed letterpress and that the titanic had on board letterpress machinery shouldn't be overlooked. I will use this as my starting point when trying to create a narrative for the book. To sum up briefly what Tim has provided me with to date...

"Almost certainly the press(es) used were platen presses (or clamshell-style presses); these are commonly called a Gordon platen press and the type used on the Titanic was probably the English-manufactured Arab press or the USA-manufactured Chandler & Price press. Generally speaking, what was printed on board were the daily menus, invitations to private parties, and such oddball items as labels for crates of roosters that were being transported (none of the chickens survived the sinking), a press of a large size would not have been needed."

"Due to the look and feel of the menus that I've examined, I am confident that two presses were employed given changes in impression, transfer of ink, etc. between the examples I've looked at."

"That I am aware of, there are no photographs of the printing offices on board any of the Olympic-class liners."

"The Titanic did not have a daily newspaper.  At this moment, I can say with certain authority that even the Olympic did not have a newspaper until up into the summer of 1912."
Here's a working Chandler & Price press I found on Briar Press

Here's a working Chandler & Price press I found on Flickr

No comments:

Post a Comment