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Printing at Mackenzie House

About a week ago we went to Mackenzie House. It was an unplanned visit, but it turned out to be one of the best visits.

We checked out the gardens.
I like the flowers, they are really beautiful.                                                                                          

This bench was in a nice, shady spot.
This flower looks kind of like a humming bird to me.

I believe this is a relief of William Lion Mackenzie speaking to the members of Provincial Parliament.

When we went inside, the museum's Printer, Chris, was working on a souvenir for Open Streets Toronto. And I got to help!

This is the slug cutter, we used it many times that day.
We needed slugs (or spacers) of different sizes and when we didn't have the right size, we had to cut them.

And we kept testing the slugs until we got them right.

We also kept going back and forth to the job case which is where you can find the type.

Here are some printing terms that I learnt:
Job Case - The wooden case that is used to store type. Each drawer is about 2 inches tall.

Galley - The metal tray to set the type. It can be tightened so the type stays in place. It can be used to print copies for proofs.

Proof - A test page to check for any mistakes (like spelling or any upside down letters.)

Chase - A rectangular frame where columns of type are put in for printing. Normally you would use a Chase instead of a Galley for what we were doing.

Composing Stick - You compose the type of what you want to print in the composing stick. You put them in upside down and from left to right.

(This is an old picture of a composing stick. We didn't take a picture of one this visit.)

Furniture - A piece of wood or metal that can be used as a spacer to hold the type in place in the chase or galley.

Slugs - Spacers
Here is a picture of Chris putting in a slug to keep the type tight in the galley.

Quoin - An expandable wedge which you use to hold things in place. You use a key to un-wedge it.


When we go to Mackenzie House we usually use the Washington Flat Bed Press.

But, for the Open Streets souvenir that we were working on, we used the Proof Press. We used it to check our work and they will take it on the road with them on August 16th for Open Streets Toronto.

Here is a picture of me using the Proof Press.

We had to go back a few times to replace some letters which didn't show up properly.
In the first one, "run" and "kick" didn't show up, and "ride" and the address were incomplete.

In the 2nd attempt we still had problems with the same words.

The 3rd one was a lot better, but we still had to replace the "R" from 'ride' as well as the letters from the word "kick".

The 4th attempt, the word "ride" was OK but 'kick' didn't show up properly.

It turned out that we just had to roll the Proof Press a little slower so that the full weight would roll over the entire sheet.

I really liked this visit because I got to help make something that they are going to use. :-)
Thank you Chris, for letting me help out!

Here is a link with information about Open Streets Toronto:

1 comment:

  1. Another wonderful blog, Josh! Thanks for helping with the souvenir - Mackenzie House