This man works at a printing press at the other end of the doorway for over 41 years. He scrupulously places single sheet of blank paper one after another on the 62-year-old machine, that can still print 1000 copies in an hour, the owner said proudly but this man does 400. Time has worn him out and the owner is cool about it.
“Why not change?” I asked
“Why change family tradition? Definitely not for money”
Letterpress printing is a technique of relief printing using a printing press. A worker composes and locks movable type into the bed of a press, inks it, and presses paper against it to transfer the ink from the type.
In practice, letterpress also includes other forms of relief printing with printing presses, such as wood engravings, photo-etched zinc “cuts” (plates), and linoleum blocks, which can be used alongside metal type in a single operation, as well as stereotypes and electrotypes of type and blocks. With certain letterpress units it is also possible to join movable type with slugs cast using hot metal typesetting.
Letterpress printing was the normal form of printing text from its invention by Johannes Gutenberg in the mid-15th century until the 19th century and remained in wide use for books and other uses until the second half of the 20th century. Letterpress printing remained the primary way to print and distribute information until the twentieth century, when offset printing was developed, which largely supplanted its role in printing books and newspapers. More recently, letterpress printing has seen a revival in an artisanal form. (Source : Wikipedia)
98 thoughts on “The Printer”
Mate, those photos are worthy of National Geographic. Brilliant stuff.
The man deserves a moment of our time.
Indeed. A superb character for a story. It’s real. He’s real. 400 per hour.
Wow. My brother!!
Tradition indeed and When in the future he will look back at this printing machine,he will be proud that he own such a thing.. 😀
Nice Captures Arjun.. 😀
Absolutely. Thank you Harsha!
He does Really hard work !!,Arijun,and you brought him on the spot light,very nice of you!
Yes. A wonderful soul Thank you very much Massi!
Really enjoyed your images and text. It’s a poignant story in today’s world of the fragile printed word.
Overwhelmed. Thank you very much Sally!
That is definitely off-trail! Vignettes of Indian life, such as this one, tell me more about the country and its people than a 1000 pictures of the Taj Mahal. Keep up the good work.
This post captured my heart. I agree that it shows more of India and its people than a picture of the Taj Mahal. The concept of “Why change?” is so alien to an American way of thinking.
American way of thinking is turning global. I look at my camera and wonder if we’ll stick together for the next 2 years if not more. Thank you very much for coming by. Feels good.
Wonderful story, gives a glimpse into the time when everything printed was precious. And into traditions and skills that hardly exist any more. Thanks!
500 years of tradition and I hope it persists.
I’m glad you like this post. Thank you very much!
Informative post and pictures. Like the question you asked him. Almost like saying, why don’t you put your foot in your mouth? 🙂 He wouldn’t no way say- sure. Dark rooms.
A poet will always find his way to the dark room. My question was to find out his thought not to change his business model just like my dad who fails to understand in spite of my countless explanations, why I own a 1964 model lambretta whose mileage is less than his SUV.
Lol of course, and so does your dad feign innocence lest his son stops asking good questions or exercises loyalty to a lambretta. I assume at the risk of doing so. And the poet maybe knows this too! So many risks!
great portrait Arjun! “Definitely not for money”
Thank you very much, Honey Man!
Very nice new blog design, Arjun.
Some traditions are worth changing….in a free world! 🙂 )
What amazing photos to go with the words
Thank you very much Christy. So glad to see you!!
Last month someone scared me by saying – pretty soon printing industry will die thanks to online readings and E-readers ! I said – people who fell in love with the smell of old books and fresh newspapers will never let that happen..After seeing your post, I am convinced – good things are eternal..:) Story brilliantly captured, Arjun. Very nice look of the blog too.
I kinda agree, partly. Won’t die but will lose commercial viability and the propaganda “Save Trees” will give it legitimacy and stringent living in cubicles will scream for lack of space, onus is on us!!
P.S. I love the new design too. Some changes are must. Thank you Archita!!
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it 😀
Ha Ha…How have you been mate?
Riding the rollercoaster of life at the moment mate.. looking forward to the next flat bit 😀
How very interesting.
Thank you very much Ronnie! Hope you’re doing good!!
the photos seem like they would have texture if i touched them! beautiful~
Honestly, I’m numb and speechless. And you do this very often Cindy.
You might want to chronical his work on video
I wish my filming phase resumes. I’d love to shoot but things are stuck, hopefully not for long.
Masterful shots and a worthy tribute!
Thank you Richard!
Wonderful that the letterpress is still being done, and your photos showing him and his work are superb.
What an impressive work he does and thanks for the explanation, beautiful photos Arjun !
Thank you my ever-smiling friend! Have a great day :))
You too, dear Arjun !:)
excellent the second one.
Hm, it’s the use of light, you’ve excelled so well in :))
Hope you’re doing good!!
Your portraits are wonderful Arjun-and the second shot is a wonderful slice-of-life image-I am glad to hear that type-setting has not completely disappeared-
I didn’t know of type-setting before this encounter, I’ll never forget this man. Thank you so much Meg!
questo è quasi incredibile qui in Italia, mi sembra di ascoltare parole sussurrate da un mondo perduto, le foto sono degne di un Poeta della fotografia quale voi siete
This is almost unbelievable here in Italy, I seem to hear whispered words from a lost world, the photos are worthy of a poet of photography where you are
Il mio amico gentile,
Il vostro apprezzamento è la mia ricompensa, una benedizione per andare avanti, trovare altre storie per divertire voi ed amici qui. Grazie mille Venits.
I agree– National Geographic worthy. Definitely. Said it before and say it again. If you submitted you would be accepted– if you want that. Your pictures deserved to be seen by a much bigger audience. A perfect portrait. Superb!!
Oh Ellen, thank you so much!
FAntastic images Arjun. I had no idea that printers today could be using this vintage equipment. A really fine post!
Thank you very much Elena!
Nice of you to write about his hard work and explaining about the process involved. The photos are terrific 🙂
Thank you so much Paula 🙂
That’s really amazing. I had no idea anyone was still using moveable type printing presses. It seems like a lost art, although I would be interested in trying it. This is a great post.
Thank you so very much David! 🙂
A lovely mini-photo essay. I wish more people would honour old crafts. The images are gorgeous.
I agree Sir! Thank you so much for coming by. Your appreciation means a lot to me.
Awesomeness, here it is, you found it and you created more of it as you shared it all with us…
Yes, worth National Geographic!!!! 🙂
Thank you very much Ela! So happy to see you :))
Arjun- You did this man a solid. The story was good, informative and well worth reading and honoring him in the process. It opened my mind to things I didn’t know.
Thank you for that. And trust me, it gave me one extrra brain cell I didn’t have before : D
A lovely response. Thank you very much Yisraela. Have a nice day!
This is informative. Your photos, too, always speak to me a lot 🙂
Our humble attempt is to seek your approval 🙂
Thank you very much!
Staying with tradition – Bravo. The man has character.
Thank you so much. Taking cue from your exceptional life and inspiring words to me a week back, is the reason behind this post.
I’m honored. The talent is within you, you just need to let the world see it.
I really enjoyed this Arjun. The information is great but the image to lead off this post is just fantastic. He deserves to be celebrated and for everyone to know about his skill and dedication to his craft. Hope you are doing well?
I agree with you Mark. Thank you so much for the appreciation. Wow. I’m happy! :))
You must notice, this traditional way has much more vibe.
Things changed around here! And they changed for better! I like it!:)
In our new world of consumerism everyone must have access to what one likes.
Nevertheless, vintage will always find its place. I love it!!
I meant, things changed on your blog. New theme, new look :). And I love that vintage style too! I kind of hope it never dies. Even if I have to wait for my goods longer. It will do me well.
Ah. My apologies. I had a feeling my dumb head was not reading your comment right.
I’d rather say, I wasn’t precise :).
You photos are top notch.
I guess, it’s all worths for a dedication that the printer man did…
he owned the moment for our salute!
i question myself, did i can finishing what i’m doing with my life later on???
You must continue on your beautiful journey. Little that I know of you, the amazing and rare food you present on your blog is sheer joy, brings smiles to so many readers like me.
Thank you very much for your appreciation, The printer deserves it!
Hmm.. New blog layout, it is a good thing
No new words yet. That is a good thing too!
All things come to he who waits..
and I will my friend. That’s all I know. Thank you very much.
If all you know is something, than you are further down the path to enlightenment than me
Hi Arjun, brilliant post; love the story and great photos. I’ve been away a while and not checked in to WP, look forward to catching up with you! 🙂
I was thinking the same too. Let me drop by your blog today! 🙂
Nothing new there I’m afraid. I’m working on it though! 🙂
Conversation over old pictures ain’t that bad an idea Peter! 🙂
What, no new posts here? I saw your fb pic on the right 🙂
Ah, right! 🙂
Strangely enough you look very human 😉
Lol. I must remove the picture then.
When you say remove it, do you think of your current gravatar or your link to fb?
I can’t tell you what you should do. I like them both, the mysterious look of the gravatar and the human, compassionate look on your fb image. I have a bunch of pics on my gravatar page for noisy people 🙂 Once a guy here saw my picture on my about page and accused me that it wasn’t me :D. Then I added several to my gravatar just to prove that it was me. Now I feel silly for the effort.
I have a new quote above my comments section on my blog. Wanna see it? You still haven’t read my other posts 😦
I’ll read the quote now, posts tomorrow, I promise.
Thank you, Arjun 🙂
B…limey, 41 years? Almost a lifetime at the press. He is more than worthy of your coverage Arjun, and I’ve brought t’kettle for a brew to celebrate his endeavours, and countless number of wordfilled sheets (our stock in trade) over the years. xxx