These Pictures are from

By Roger Austin. From the Nov - Dec 2004 newsletter.

Tony Gilbert of Potsdam was clearing out a barn to make room for a new horse, and he asked Museum member Ken Gordon to help him move out some heavy machines. They proved to be two vintage letterpresses. They had been bought several years earlier for his wife Anne to use. Family demands had intervened, and the presses had been moved to the barn.

Ken recognized their historical value and asked if they might be donated to the Museum. The Gilberts responded affirmatively. Ken and member Bobby Shirley spent a day moving the two presses along with a work bench, cabinets filled with lead type, boxes of paper stock, paper cutters, and business files with customer proof copies from an earlier owner.

The Ben Franklin Gordon press was invented in 1851, and by 1894, numerous firms were manufacturing it including Globe Mfg. Co. of Palmyra, NY, the source of the first press donated. The inventor, Gordon, received the design in a dream from Ben Franklin.

The second press is a Perfected Prouty, patented between 1886 and 1888. The donated units driven by an electric motor of very early design. The trustees envision the presses and other items being displayed and operated in a recreated working printing shop built at the future Museum site.

The Museum and its members thank the Gilberts for their generosity.