Early Mods Field Trip to the International Printing Museum

Last Saturday some of the intrepid students of HIST 327 – “History of the Book” went on a field trip to the International Printing Museum in Carson.  We saw cuneiform tablets, papyrus scrolls, and printing presses from Gutenberg onwards.  Here are some photos of our discoveries!

Our guide cast an “M” type piece right in front of us.  He told us that Gutenberg made matrices by carving the letter into metal.  He then inserted the matrix into a hand mold, and poured in molten metal, which cooled and filled the negative spaces in the matrix to become a raised M.  The printer would repeat the process until they had enough letters to begin forming pages of words.

photo 1

Inking a Gutenberg Press:

The Gutenberg in action!

photo 3


Consumers bought printed pages, and took them to local monasteries to have them illuminated with decorations and fancy initial letters:

See it for yourself!

The International Printing Museum
315 Torrance Boulevard
Carson, California 90745

~Thanks to Caroline Carpenter for the lovely photography.

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