In response to the COVID-19 pandemic Penrith Museum of Printing will close to the public as a precautionary measure to assist public health services, ensure individual risk is minimised and to support communities across our States during this difficult time.
We will advise on this web site when we reopen once a clearance is given by the relevant authorities.
Contact us: 0415 625 573
LAST LINOTYPE OPERATOR
Sydney Morning Herald
Way back in 1984, the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper finally changed from hot metal typesetting and letterpress printing to Lithgograph and photosetting, meaning re-training for many of the 135 former linotype operators. The very last one to operate the very last linotype typesetting machine was Michael Lunn.
Michael recently visited the Museum just to nostalgically recall his time at the machine. He sat at the keyboard of the Model 8 Linotype; he smelled the oil and hot metal; he touched the keys and set a few lines and spoke of his years typesetting.
When he was satisfied and prepared to leave, Michael just happened to glimpse the museum’s presentation on display of the Herald’s last days. Unbeknown to him or to any of the museum’s guides, the young man depicted on the presentation was Michael himself.
Michael said he recalled vividly that day when a photographer ‘turned up with several cameras and many lenses, and said ‘smile for the camera’.’He heard no more of the event and put it out of his mind until some 35 years later when he saw it at the museum.
The smile on Michael’s face shows the satisfaction he felt having visited the museum.
New addition to the museum
5th September 1922 – 11 January 2020 (97)
We regret to inform that the founder of the Penrith Museum of Printing, Alan Connell, has passed away on Saturday 11 January 2020.
Alan was Indentured to an employer J.S.Horton for five years from 1st December 1939. He was instructed in the art and craft of hand composing and the linotype line casting machine.
Alan served the first part of his apprenticeship at the Nepean Times Newspaper in Penrith which was owned in those days by Sydney Colless
His apprenticeship was interrupted by the start of the Second World War, however after the war he returned to finish his training period with the Nepean Times.
The printing trade had filled his life and he stayed loyal to his job until his retirement.
Dedicated to the art of printing he spent his retired life saving the old equipment of the Nepean Times which became the foundation of The Penrith Museum of Printing 19 years ago.
The Columbian donated by Fairfax was repainted and positioned in a pride of place. The machine was invented in 1816 and considered a major breakthrough and in fact the SMH was printed on this type of press some 140 years ago. This particular model, number 937 was manufactured in England in 1841. Delivered by ship to Sydney then transported by Bullock cart across the Blue mountains in 1872 where it commenced printing the Carcoar Chronicle until 1939 when the publication ceased. It sat rusting in the backyard until bought by John Fairfax and Sons Ltd in 1973. The machine was restored by engineering apprentices of the company to perfect working order and on display at Fairfax HQ until recently. This press will now be the oldest piece of operating equipment in our fine museum. We will have it operating as part of our tours along side the Albion 1864 model.