Hamilton Wood Type Museum
1619 Jefferson Street, Two Rivers, WI, USA
www.woodtype.org - (920) 794-6272
Hamilton Wood Type Museum Two Rivers Reviews
Worlds Largest Maker of Wood Type Printing Letters in 1880 Jul 13, 2009
Two Rivers is a small town that sits on the banks of Lake Michigan has a population of just over 12,500 people. This tiny town had an entrepreneur in 1880 that created a world-wide company for wood type letters for printing presses in multiple languages and commanded nearly the entire market for this product.
The Wood Type Museum is a fascinating place, whether you simply enjoy museums, worked in the printing business, or just appreciate that one man created such a successful, world-wide business from such a small city.
Hamilton still stands today and is most famous for making specialty cabinets and furniture. The old factory is HUGE covering a few city blocks and is a massive structure. The Hamilton smoke stack is one of the city landmarks.
After perfecting the wood-type portion of the business, Hamilton soon realized that there was no other business that filled the need to make drawers and cabinets to hold all the wood type letters. So, he took his finest craftsmen and began creating specialty furniture. He graduated to making architect tables, dental office and doctor office furniture, and ultimately household appliances.
This free museum has not only the wood letters on display, but also the equipment needed during the various stages of production from raw wood, to the molds. Additionally, antique cribs, doctor tables, and washer and driers are on display bringing back memories from yesteryear.
There is typically one curator at this museum on any given day, and each of them have a love for the printing business still today. Since this company is so storied with hundreds of past famous clients, they are digging out the oldest, most interesting posters that had been created and used between 1880 and 1960 and reprinting them, offering these cool posters for sale to the public as a fundraiser to keep the museum going. They have an online store where posters can be viewed and purchased for a reasonable price for something so vintage.
Upon entering this museum you will feel like an invited guest that they have been waiting for. It also serves as an active printshop for rent by the hour, day, or week for projects, usually used by either graphic artists or the University. Simply fascinating.
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