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Thread: Aussie history going under the hammer

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Aussie history going under the hammer

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    It is with a sad heart that I bring you the news that the Melbourne Museum of Printing has suspended operations and its huge collection is being auctioned off.

    The sale will take place in two parts. The first will be an online auction ending 26 November. Part two will be a live auction on 30 November.

    In addition to the many, MANY tonnes of printing equipment there is a lot of other wonderful equipment as well. Such as antique telephones, switchboards, and old computers to name just a few. There are lots of hidden gems up for grabs as their collection has never been fully catalogued and documented. Heck, some of the boxes used to hold items are collectables in and of themselves. There is a massive amount of Aussie history here including many rare and unique items.


    Java "Long live letterpress!" phile
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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Can sense you salivating from here JP...

    Mal.
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Can sense you salivating from here JP...

    Mal.
    While it is true that there is certainly much there that I would love to have in my own collection that moisture you see dripping from my face is tears caused by an overwhelming sadness at the loss of yet another printing museum, especially one with such a large and varied collection.


    Java " " phile
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  4. #4
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    That's terrible news. When something is no longer used due to changed technology it ends up in a museum to preserve its history....we can't have museums themselves closing down.

    I remember my first venture into a printing room...the clackity clack of the linotype machines, the pots of melting lead, the art of the typsetters, the rows of walking dictionaries called proof readers quietly reading aloud, the stone sub who had ulcers and nightmares, copyboys running between machines, and the rumble of the multi-storey presses which shook the entire building....
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  5. #5
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Sad news, I worked at WA Newspapers for 25 years as an apprentice compositor, linotype operator and then experienced the change to cold type and mass redundancies.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Erimus's Avatar
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    You'd think the government would help to keep the museum alive. When you think of all the government money wasted, continuously greasing Asian Countries, it's sickening.

  7. #7
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    I didn't even know it existed...
    Never seen any promotional material of any kind, no open days advertised, etc...
    Perhaps if more Aussies knew it was there, this 'fire sale' wouldn't need to occur.

    Sad indeed...

    Mal.
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  8. #8
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    There's a very mesmerizing and magical quality to watching many of the old letterpress machines doing their thing.

    Machines like the classic Brandtjen & Kluge press (Commonly called just Kluge), an Automatic Printing Press that revolutionized the industry 100 years ago and still being made today. An updated version of it of course. Brandtjen & Kluge is one of the few letterpress manufacturing companies that is still doing business today, its Centennial year.

    While not the best video this is the best one I could find to showcase the various sounds of the machine. The bell you hear is a warning to the operator that the feeding arm has failed to pick up the next piece of stock.



    Even more mesmerizing is the sights and sounds of a Linotype in action, a machine called the 8th wonder of the world by Thomas Edison when it was invented in the late 1800's. At the hands of an experienced operator the sound of the matrices being redistributed back into the magazine was a non-stop tinkling of tiny brass bells underlying all the other clicking, clacking, and whirling of this incredible machine.




    Java "Ah memories..." phile
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    I went to the pre auction viewing. Damn it was amazing and sad to see it go under. Thanks for letting us know Java
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  10. #10
    OCD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Javaphile View Post
    There's a very mesmerizing and magical quality to watching many of the old letterpress machines doing their thing...

    ...Even more mesmerizing is the sights and sounds of a Linotype in action, a machine called the 8th wonder of the world by Thomas Edison when it was invented in the late 1800's...
    Although never having seen, heard or even smelt a letterpress or linotype machine, I'm pretty sure I know where you're coming from. In my case it was a 892 GM powered COE Kenworth. Although virtually indestructible its bad habits (billowing black smoke, oil leaks and copious thirst) has sadly, rendered the two stroke V8 obsolete. Above all else, the sound. Ah, the sound.
    We will most likely never, outside of a museum, see its like again.

    Ps it might not be love but it's pretty damned close. When they built these things, it wasn't just functional necessity that went into them.

    Ps2 I love the smell of carcinogenic diesel exhaust in the morning. I know you have to be one.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    OCD, don't get me wrong, I aint no glue sniffer or petrol sniffer and I have never even sniffed let alone smoked an illicit weed.

    But decades ago I loved the smell of diesel fumes from vehicles like buses. Just the smell. That smell has long gone, maybe because of low-sulfur fuel.

    But back to them there linotypes..

    When word processors replaced steam-age Underwood typewriters in newspaper offices from the mid 1970s the effects were revolutionary.

    Only two or 3 paragraphs of a reporter's news story could be recalled onto those primitive sub-editor's screens. If those few pars didn't whet his appetite for the story he wouldn't bother scrolling down for the substance further down and the story would be "spiked". (Not literally...the spike was a vertical long nail-like thing onto which discarded news copy was impaled before the advent of word processors.)

    So the old adage than no-one read the second paragraph gained traction in newsrooms themselves because of the new technology.

    Secondly, sub-editors could now lay out a page on their screens, digitally.

    No more clickity clack linotypes. No more compositors who took those lines of types (get it, line-o'-type) and assembled them onto a life-sized chase. Compositing was a skilled art.

    This demarcation caused a war which the printers lost.

    These days journalists, sub editors and printing presses aren't necessarily located in the same country...let alone the same building.

    The editorial office may be in the city centre like downtown Melbourne, the reporters' copy may be uploaded to New Zealand to be sub-edited (it's cheaper there than here), then sent back for printing in country Victoria.
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  12. #12
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Know what you mean OCD...

    Practically grew up with diesels of all kinds, from small gen-sets right up to multiple MW ship and powerhouse engines.
    Love 'em all.

    Mal.
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  13. #13
    OCD
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    Quote Originally Posted by robusto View Post
    ...I have never even sniffed let alone smoked an illicit weed...
    Me neither. At least none that I'd be silly enough to admit to on a public forum.

    Ps didn't take anything stronger than coffee to keep me awake either.
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