I recently had a conversation with Angela Piccini (Co-Investigator on the Know Your Bristol on the Move project) regarding the residency. She mentioned that M Shed have various printing presses in their collection and that perviously when M Shed was Bristol Industrial Museum, there was an exhibit which involved live demonstrations of various printing machinery.
Today I went on a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of M Shed to take a look at the printing presses they hold in storage. It was great to have a look at a Linotype machine and a Columbia press and a Albion press. I had an insightful conversation with the tour guide Sue regarding the presses and my project. She suggested I contact Andy King (senior curator at M Shed) for further knowledge of this type of technology. She also suggested contacting The Letterpress Collective, a print studio who use this technology and would probably be able to help me print the reverse side of the card.
I left M Shed thinking about the relationship between different objects which are held in the various collections and archives of the city. And how in this instance, they appear to compliment one other. The Vaughan postcard collection highlights many histories, in this case it draws attention to the history of Bristol’s industrial past.
A useful website called Metro Postcard discusses the history of postcard printing techniques. The ‘Golden Age’ of postcards (early 20th Century) ran simultaneously with innovations and changes in the printing industry and “was no doubt fueled in large part by them”. The study of postcards also aids the study of the history of commercial printing. Many different printing methods have been used to produce postcards, and many were in use at the same time during the ‘Golden Age’. “The relief process known as Letterpress was the primary method used to print text throughout the 19th century and halfway through the 20th”. The role of Letterpress in postcard production was as a typographical medium to print sharp, clear text and printers would have used it alongside other printing processes.