Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Houston Museum of Printing... May 2013

This was a great field trip!!! I cannot believe we have never been before!  It is top on my list of field trips from now on!

We didn't have very many people sign up AND then on the day of the field trip it was torrential thunderstorms so we had people unable to make it, but those who did, benefited greatly!

We started in front of a replica of the Gutenberg Press (1450) and Matt was chosen to be Johannes Gutenberg for the day!

In 1620, the English philosopher Francis Bacon indeed wrote that these three inventions
"changed the whole face
and state of the world".

We learned HOW the press works and then got to help demonstrate it.  There is all the type to set, ink to roll, levers to push, levers to pull... it takes a lot of TIME, strength and energy for ONE print!

We each got a copy of the Gutenberg Bible that we printed!


Next, we moved a few years, well 300 plus years, to a type of printing press that might have been used to print the Declaration of Independence!

Each of the kids got to print a page from the Declaration of Independence!

"The printing press is either the greatest blessing or the greatest curse of modern times, sometimes one forgets which it is."
---E. F. Schumacher

"The printing press was at first mistaken for an engine of immortality by everybody except Shakespeare."
---Marshall McLuhan

Next, we moved onto a printing press that TYPE set itself, meaning you typed in what you wanted.. no more scrambling around putting all those letters, spaces, punctuation together! Lots of saved time and effort... PLUS no more levers and pulleys as this machine was powered by steam!

"Before printing was discovered, a century was equal to a thousand years."
---Henry David Thoreau

This was a hand printing press-- sort of like a personal one that could be used to
print invitation or visiting cards..

 reminded me of the printer thing I had as a child... it had a round surface with letters all the way around and you would dial to the letter you wanted and click it like a trigger and eventually you could print something out, or emboss a card?  Anyone remember that??

Anyway.. after the tour we got to watch BEN AND ME!  My favorite show! They have  small theater in the back of the museum!

It was a fabulous field trip!

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