The Peabody Printing Museum is a collection of hot type equipment dating from 1870 to 1920. Not only is this Museum an attraction for those visiting Peabody, it also serves as a memorial to the thousands of “ink-stained wretches” who worked in or operated newspapers and print shops in Kansas and the rest of America. Since the 1960s, printing has undergone a huge upheaval, and the equipment and methods of the “letterpress” or “hot type” printing have virtually disappeared in commercial printing and publishing companies. The Peabody Printing Museum hopes to preserve a bit of this great printing history which dates back to the 15th century and the invention of moveable type by Gutenberg, climaxed after the invention of the Linotype of Merganthaler little more than a century ago virtually disappeared in a period of less than a quarter of a century.
Efforts are underway to teach younger persons (anyone younger than the two old proprietors ages 80 & 75) the knowledge of the equipment by offering special training programs.
W.H. Morgan, the first editor of the Peabody Gazette printed the first few issues of the paper in Atchison and brought them to Peabody for distribution in 1873.
Mssrs. Chandler & Prince would most certainly enjoy a visit to the Peabody Printing Museum, since it’s filled with their wonderful products. The giant press, 15 x 20 C&P Platen looms large in the main gallery. Across the room is an exceptionally fine 10 x 15 C&P that is treadle driven (no motor!)
Also in the museum are two 6 x 10 Pilots. These are bench model presses that are set up for younger visitors to print calling cards, or their own Christmas Cards. (their names are slugs set on one of the Linotypes).
The C&P’s were the most popular platen presses the early part of this century.
The Peabody Printing Museum currently has two working Lintotypes, a Model 5 and a Model 8. The Model 8 Linotype was the foundation unity on which the Museum was built. The Model 8 was salvaged after the Peabody Gazette fire of 1967 and was taken apart, piece by piece and reassembled. The Linotypes are truly a piece of work and a joy to watch in action.
HOPES & DREAMS
It is the hope and dream of curators Bills Krauts and Jackson that the Peabody Printing Museum become the finest “working” printing museum in Kansas and the Midwest. Currently all but two items in the museum are in working order, but maintaining these items will be the true test. Currently plans are underway for printing classes that will enable a much younger generation to continue the legacy that Krause and Jackson have just begun.
Jackson at 81 years young and Krause at 75 both give several days a week to the museum. They serve as guides, curators, acquires, mechanics and much, much more. But we are always in need of contributions from others. Contributions could be in the form of money, lead, equipment, expertise or volunteer hours.
Help the Peabody Historical Society keep this legacy alive not just for Peabody but for all those printers across the midwest.
Wanted: The Peabody Printing Museum is badly in need of an old Washington style Iron Handpress. There are probably a dozen kicking around Kansas and it is our hope that you can help us find one. If you can help, please call.