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A Chandler & Price Smashed to Bits.

26 Dec 2008 / 0 Comments / in Tales, Short & Tall

A few years ago Karla Elling, of The Mummy Mountain Press, gave me an old style Chandler & Price platen press; the only catch in the deal was I had to move it.

This sort of catch is common in the letterpress world. Maybe not giving something away, but certainly moving it once you’ve bought it…whether it’s a press, a bunch of type, or whatever. It just seems everything weighs a ton (sometimes literally) when it comes to printing machinery, and this press I acquired was no exception.

But I got it moved to my studio, and sure it was a hassle, but with a few friends, a pick-up truck, and some metal pipes to act as rollers, we managed just fine.

The press cleaned up well. A beauty. But it was missing parts, and I knew that going into the deal. It turned out to be a lesson learned, as I never was able to find the parts I needed to make it work.

Then the move to Los Angeles.

I haven’t talked about that…yet. But then again I’ve totally neglected this blog — as well as All Things synaesthesia — for quite some time.

So I’ll start now.

Paying attention, that is.

I’ve moved to Los Angeles; the synaesthesia press has, too.

Moving a studio full of stuff that weighs a ton is no easy feat, but I managed. Almost. I hired some day laborers. I had help from family. And I hired professional movers for two pieces of equipment: a Vandercook #219 and the Old Style C & P.

The Vandy made it.

The C & P didn’t.

The C & P has a flywheel that makes it side-heavy, for lack of a better term. Professional Movers pick it up with a big old forklift, and as they’re backing out, the forklift hits a small hole in my driveway, causing the forklift to sway, and the press just fell.

That’s the best I can do…as far as explaining how it all went down.

Ain’t it just grand to watch a beautiful machine that’s lasted 100+ years come crashing down on your clock?

I couldn’t even bring myself to take pictures.

The press ended up at a scrap heap; my bill was waived; the studio is now up and running in Los Angeles.

And — like a bear rising slowly from a long slumber — the synaesthesia press is starting to wake up.

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