Olde Yakima Letterpress Museum celebrates opening of new facility

Olde Yakima Letterpress Museum celebrates opening of new facility

The Olde Yakima Letterpress Museum will celebrate the grand opening of its new facility Saturday morning. More of the museum’s collection will now be on display in the new building.

The museum run by Fred Hutchinson and Ruth Bishop is dedicated to the preservation, study and educational demonstration of 19th and 20th century letterpress typesetting and printing techniques.

Hutchinson grew up in a family letterpress business in Fall River, Massachusetts, and began setting hand type as a 6-year-old in 1953. Ruth, a letterpress enthusiast, manages the education program at the museum.

“Letterpress is a lost art that will never come back,” said Bishop. “The idea of setting each individual letter to make a simple business card which could take you several hours when you could do it on a computer doesn’t happen.”

The exhibit features a Linotype machine donated by the Museum of History in Aberdeen, an original Heidelberg and a civil war printer.

“We wanted to do that so people could see what it was like, and have an opportunity to actually experience it and set something. Put it on the press, find our how frustrating it can be to get your p’s and q’s upside down,” said Bishop.

It’s one of the only working letterpress museums in the state.

The free event starts at 10 a.m., and is located at the Central Washington Agriculture Museum in Union Gap. It’ll feature tours and demonstrations.