The Printer

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.

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.[1] 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

  1. 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.. 😀

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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!!

  6. 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.

  7. 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!!

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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?

    • 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!

  11. 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

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