This week we present the first official set of broadsides printed in 2000 at the Hamilton Wood Type Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, by Richard Zauft, formally a professor of art here at UWM and Associate Dean of the UWM Peck School of the Arts. Currently the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Emerson College, Boston, Zauft was instrumental in the museum’s establishment, which was founded by Jim Van Lanen in a corner of the old Hamilton Company factory building in 1999. That historic building was demolished in 2013, and the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum moved to its current home in Two Rivers in November of that year.
J. Edward Hamilton founded his wood type company in Two Rivers in 1880, and within 20 years it became the largest manufacturer of wood type in the United States. The Hamilton company eventually diversified its production line to furniture, particularly for medical use, but it continued to produce wood type until the 1980s.
Today “The Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum is the only museum dedicated to the preservation, study, production and printing of wood type. With 1.5 million pieces of wood type and more than 1,000 styles and sizes of patterns, Hamilton’s collection is one of the premier wood type collections in the world.” Unfortunately (or, perhaps, fortunately) for Richard Zauft, who still serves on the museum’s artistic board, all of the 1.5 million pieces of wood type were completely unorganized and scattered throughout the building when he attempted this broadside set. The result was that the content for each broadside was completely determined by what he could find and serendipitously pull together, producing appropriately humorous type displays.
See more posts from our Typography Tuesday series.