Meet the Expert: From Concept to Printed Piece


Join us at the National Museum of Industrial History as we follow master printer, Alan Runfeldt, through our new exhibit, “Hot off the Press”. He will demonstrate printing a job from beginning to end using the tools, skills and resources of a typical job printer in America from 1900-1980. His demonstration will take the group through the total experience of being a customer in a print shop - first defining the job to be printed, then selecting and setting the type to print it, locking up the form in a chase, selecting paper and mixing up a colored ink, setting up the press and actually printing a job using the treadle-powered hand-fed platen press on display in The Printery of NMIH - all the while sharing historical anecdotes related to Letterpress Printing.

Alan Runfeldt has been doing letterpress printing for over fifty years - beginning in 1962, when he was twelve years old and founded The Excelsior Press in his parents' basement. He also benefited from the experience of many jobs in the trade and the knowledge shared by a long list of mentors over the years - some of whom began their own printing careers during the late 1800's. He has been passing on the skills of the craft and the knowledge that these old masters had shared with him almost since he began printing himself. He currently operates the Excelsior Press Museum Print Shop near Frenchtown, NJ, where he prints using the old techniques and teaches others how to print on these old presses.

The Meet the Expert series takes place on the third Saturday of each month. This unique opportunity to hear thematic talks from experts in their respective fields will include a 45-minute lecture and 15-minute Q&A. Meet the Experts is included in your admission price and is free to all members of the museum.