Print Museum

Print Museum
4th Class visit the Print Museum
Monday, March 2, 2015 - 13:12

When we arrived at the huge stone arch, I could feel the butterflies dancing in my stomach. When we walked in I saw lots of little stone houses and thought “How could the print museum be here?!” As we walked on I started to see lots of signs for the “National Print Museum” and realised there was a little wooden house-like building in the corner of the square with tall glass doors with “Print” on one and “Museum” on the other. We walked inside and I saw lots of old fashioned-looking machines. A girl holding a clipboard called Jess took down our names and divided us up into three groups. First my group were taken over to a big tray with lots of little metal engraved letters. We had to put the letters in to a composing stick which looked like a little metal tray. Then we had to put the letters of our names into the composing stick. It was very tricky because we had to put the letters in back-to-front and backwards so that it would come out right when you would print it. When it was my turn, I put a wonky Kate-Ellen into the composing stick and handed it to the name. He rubbed ink all over a template, but I couldn’t read it because it was back-to-front and backwards, like the letters in the composing stick. After he had rubbed ink on it, he placed a piece of paper on it and pulled a huge roller over it to push the paper to the ink. When he lifted the sheet of paper: Hey Presto! My name was printed onto the sheet of paper!

When everybody’s name was printed, Jess told us to go upstairs. When we got upstairs, there was a long table with several pieces of paper laid out at the table. We all stood beside a piece of paper and listened while the man explained what we were going to do. He said that we were going to be making paper hats. He told us that before computers were invented, everything was printed with ink and the apprentices had the job of cleaning it all up. It was very hard and messy work. They tended to wipe away the sweat on their forehead, but they always had ink on their hands, so when they did so, the ink would get in their hair. They started wearing caps and other fabric hats but the ink would soak through. In the end they made paper hates so that it wouldn’t soak through. Genius!! We started folding and twisting until we had made a lovely paper hat. We were allowed to stamp lots of different patterns onto our hats and I stamped my name.

Soon it was our turn to go on the floor. We saw a huge loom-like machine that was used to put the lines on copybooks. There was also a machine for punching holes in paper. Though my favourite was the Guttenberg printing press.

After everyone had been at every station, we all put on our hates, took our sheets and went back under the big stone arch again.