I’ve spent the best part of the last two weeks on holiday in New England. The trip included four very agreeable days in Boston, which provided an opportunity to take a first-hand look at some of the places that were intimately involved in the early stages of the American Revolution. While it is not my intention to go all Judith Chalmers on you, there was one particular tourist attraction that I stumbled on, quite by accident, while walking the Freedom Trail, which I’m sure will be of particular interest to readers of this blog.
The Printing Office of Edes & Gill offers visitors to Boston a faithful recreation of a late eighteenth-century print works. The workshop has been kitted out in accordance with the specifications set out in Jospeh Moxon’s Mechanick Exercises on the Whole Art of Printing of 1684, and contains detailed working replicas of a contemporary printing press and copperplate press.
Needless to say, the proprietors know an astonishing amount about the mechanics of eighteenth-century printing and are happy to explain everything from the composition of contemporary inks, to the judicious application of felt wadding to prevent copperplates slipping during the printing process. Visitors with an interest in satirical prints will also get the opportunity to watch them produce a copy of Paul Revere’s famous Bloody Massacre… in King Street, as it would have been done 250 years ago.
Edes & Gill don’t appear to have a website but here is a link to their Facebook page.
The shop is on Unity Street, Boston. If you’re walking the Freedom Trail from downtown towards Bunker Hill, you’ll find it on the left of the entrance to the grounds of the Old North Church. It’s well worth a visit.