Kentfield, CA, then Greenbae, CA. Started by Lewis and Dorothy Allen. They had begun printing limited edition books in 1946, but the Allen Press was in Kentfield from 1953-77 and Greenbrae from 1978-1991. They used an Albion handpress, an 1830 Acorn-Smith handpress, and finally a Columbian Press. In 1996 they received the Oscar Lewis award from the Book Club of Califonria for a lifetime of fine printing.
New York. Valenti Angelo (1897-1982) is best known as an illustrator and designer of books. His first illustrations for a book were in 1926 for San Francisco's Grabhorn Press. Since that beginning he had illustrated and decorated over 250 books. Many of his books have been included in the American Institute of Graphic Arts "books of the year" exhibition.
Ashendene, Hertfordshire, and then London, England. Started in 1895 by Sir. C. H. St. John Hornby. It printed from 1895-1915 and then 1920-1935. All its editions were set by hand. It is considered with the Kelmscott Press and Doves Press one of the finest in England.
Birgimham, England. John Baskerville (1706-1775) established his press in 1757. with an edition of Virgil. He designed his own typeface and used it in his master piece- the Baskerville Bible. He also became Cambridge University's printer. Baskerville's wife continued the printing business after his death until 1777.
Sacramento, CA. Started in 1939, its membership declined during World War II, but it was reinvigorated in 1947. It first began publishing in 1942 and has continued to this date.
Hammersmith, England. Started in 1900 by Thomas James Cobden-Sanderson (1840-1922) and Emery Walker. Walker designed the typeface used by the press based on a type used by venetian Nicolas Jensen in the 15rh Century. The press was named for a public house in the area. Its greatest work was the Doves Bible, a five volume edition issued in 1903-05. In 1916, Cobden-Sanderson threw the Doves type into the Thames River to keep it from being used by Walker after his death.
Henry Evans was a man of many talents - a rare book dealer, a printer, and an artist. He owned the Porpoise Bookshop in San Francisco. He acquired his 1852 Washington Hand Press in 1949 and established the Peregrine Press by which he produced a number books he was interested in printing and the art work of Bay Area artists, such as Rick Barton, Mel Fowler, Mark Luca, Robert Quick, Leonard Basking, and Edward Hagedorn.
Henry began to cut linoleum blocks so that he could learn to understand the best way to print the works of these artists. After learning to cut the linoleum, he started making his own botanical prints. Henry would draw his subjects directly from living plants and depicted life size. He would draw the design on the linoleum and cut the design in the block. He liked linoleum as a material because when properly warmed it would cut like butter due to the softness of the material, which would result in fluid and supple prints. Henry would destroy his linoleum blocks once his particular printing edition was completed. Marsha Evans, his wife, would do most of the printing. Marsha has indicated that it could take four days to make a particular print if the drawing contained four colors.
Henry Evans began making his botanical prints in 1958 and during his career he drew more than 1400 subjects. In 1964, he decided to close the bookstore and to become solely “Henry Evans –Printmaker.” His botanical prints became very popular with the public and with museums and galleries. He has had more that 250 one-man shows and his works are in the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, the Albertina in Vienna, the Clark Library at UCLA, the Gleeson Library, and the Bancroft Library, just to mention a few. Dr Donovan McCune was an early admirer and patron. The McCune Collection has one of the largest holding of Henry Evans prints in the nation.
The Henry Evans portfolios are exhibited on the McCune website with the permission of Marsha Evans. Additional Henry Evans prints can be seen and purchased from Marsha’s website: http://www.henryevans.com.
Berkshire, England, then to London. Started in 1920 by Harold (Hal) Taylor, it was later sold to Robert Gibbing in 1924, who ran it until 1933 when it was sold to the partnership of Rutter, Sanford and Newberry. They published until 1959. It is known for its handset type (some designed by Eric Gill) and original illustrations from wood engravings.
San Francisco, CA. Started in 1919 by Edwin and Robert Grabhorn, the press stayed in business until the death of Edwin in 1965. They bought the typefaces of John Henry Nash as well as developing their own. One of their major works was Walt Whitman's The Leaves of Grass, illustrated by Valenti Angelo. Many of Grabhorn Press' later works were under commission from the Book Club of California and also David Magee, San Francisco rare book dealer. In 1966, Robert Graborn partnered with Andrew Hoyem and they produced fine publications until Robert's death in 1973
Hammersmith, England. William Morris (1834-1896) established this press in 1891. He named it after the Kelmscott Manor House. He was prominent in the Arts and Crafts movement of the late Nineteenth Century. He established the press to contrast the typical shoddy workmanship of the time. He used as inspiration the 15th Century type of venetian printer Nicholas Jensen. Morris used hand-made paper, ornate designs and elaborate illustrations to prove the quality that could be achieved in fine printing. His masterpiece was the Kelmscott Chaucer. it has 87 illustrations designed by Edward Burne-Jones as well as may borders and initials designed by Morris himself.
San Francisco, CA. John Henry Nash (1871-1947) worked as printer and designer for Tomoye Press from 1903 to 1911. In 1916, he started his own printing company, which stayed in business until 1938. He then taught typography at the University of Oregon for a few years. He is known for his fine printing.
London, England. Started in 1922 by Francis Meynell, his wife Vera, and David Garnett. It received its name from a Tudor palace. Its first edition, John Donne Love Poems. was issued in 1923. It usually tried to publish books which were out of print or hard to get. Unlike most other fine publishers, it designed its publications on a small Albion, but then sent them out to a commercial printing house to be produced. This resulted in a quality product at much lower rates than most fine presses. The twenties and thirties were the high points for this press but it continued until the 1960s. In 2005, Peter Mayer purchased the press to reissue some of the editions.
Los Angeles, CA. Started in 1931 by Saul (1905-1974) and Lillian Marks, the press was named after a French printing house in Antwerp. The Plantin Press used an 1852 Albion press, which was eventually purchased by the California State Library Foundation in 1983. After Saul's death, his wife Lillian Simon Marks continued the business until 1985.
1870-1957. American typographer and book designer. He worked for the Riverside Press in Boston from 1896 until 1912, where he designed the Montaigne typeface. He then designed his Centaur type in 1915 for the Metropolitan Museum. He used a version of this type on his major work Oxford Lectern Bible in 1935. The Monotype Company used his typeface on their typesetting machines. Rogers was also printing advisor to Cambridge University Press and Harvard University Press. In 1933, Edwin Grabhorn said "It was Bruce Rogers' books that have influenced American and English printers more than any other recent single force."
Miniature books are defined as those books that are three inches or smaller in height and width. Beginning in the medieval times there were miniature books handwritten by monks for royal patrons. These were mostly prayer or devotional texts which could be handily carried in a pocket or purse. After the invention of the printing press, miniature books were a way for a printer to show his skill. In 1468, Peter Schoffer (Johann Gutenberg's assistant) printed the first pocket-size book - "Diurnale Maguntinum." Later a Venetian printer, Aldus Manutius, established the Aldine Press, which was noted for its miniature editions. According to Robert Bradbury, Twentieth Century United States Miniature Books: "The renaissance of miniature book publishing and collecting began in 1960 when Achille J. St. Onge published the first issue of the Minature Book Collector." The McCune Collection has a number of Achille J. St. Onge's publications and has a total of 25 miniature books altogether.
Cambridge and Boston, MA. Started by Henry Houghton in 1852, it merged into Houghton Mifflin when George Mifflin became a parterner in 1880. Bruce Rogers worked for the press from 1896-1912. In 1979, the Riverside Publishing Company became a wholly owned subsidiary of Houghton Mifflin.