The Palace Print Shop & Bindery

Platen Presses Shortly after their development in the first half of the 19th century, jobbing platens became the workhorse of letterpress shops. A table model variety was used by parlor printers and the larger standing presses were used by nearly every commercial printing firm. Several models can be seen at the Press of the Palace of Governors—a 10 x 15 Chandler & Price (C&P) built in 1899, an 1890 Kelsey Star, and table model platens manufactured by both of these companies. Until World War II, the C&P was operating in the little eastern New Mexico town of Estancia at the News Herald office. Once powered by steam, the press—used here to print books and broadsides—is treadle operated and hand fed as it was originally designed to function.


A product of the Kelsey Company in Meriden, Connecticut, the Star was used in Taos during the 1920s and 1930s. It was one of the largest models built by William Kelsey who became famous for producing presses for young amateurs. In Taos, it was used by Walter Willard "Spud" Johnson, who chronicled the comings and goings of the Taos community of writers and artists in his tiny humorous newspaper called The Horse Fly. Johnson also produced The Laughing Horse, a literary magazine which featured such well-known writers as Carl Sandburg, D.H. Lawrence, and Upton Sinclair.


The Press of the Palace type collection includes over two hundred fonts, representing sixty different type families commonly used in nineteenth century printed material. The metal foundry types are stored in California Job Cases housed in banks of cabinets at the exhibit

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