Tag: Hamilton

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  • Hamilton Stories: Bill Ahearn

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    Hamilton Stories: An Oral History, was a six-event speaker series at Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum in 2015 and early 2016, that commemorated the occupational heritage and process of making wood type. Founded in Two Rivers, Wisconsin in 1880, the Hamilton Manufacturing Company became the largest manufacturer of wood type in the United States. As a local employer and an enduring legacy, Hamilton established a culture of quality, pride and innovation that influenced the community to this day.

    Hamilton Stories was established to preserve the stories of six former Hamilton employees who worked in the company’s wood type cutting area. Each event featured one guest speaker who shared his or her personal experience at the company. The Museum Director interviewed each speaker with a series of questions to reveal their experiences and guide audience members through the process of creating wood type. Beginning with harvesting wood, cutting letterforms on a pantograph and finally trimming...

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  • Hamilton Stories: David Artz

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    Hamilton Stories: An Oral History, was a six-event speaker series at Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum in 2015 and early 2016, that commemorated the occupational heritage and process of making wood type. Founded in Two Rivers, Wisconsin in 1880, the Hamilton Manufacturing Company became the largest manufacturer of wood type in the United States. As a local employer and an enduring legacy, Hamilton established a culture of quality, pride and innovation that influenced the community to this day.

    Hamilton Stories was established to preserve the stories of six former Hamilton employees who worked in the company’s wood type cutting area. Each event featured one guest speaker who shared his or her personal experience at the company. The Museum Director interviewed each speaker with a series of questions to reveal their experiences and guide audience members through the process of creating wood type. Beginning with harvesting wood, cutting letterforms on a pantograph and finally trimming...

    Read more...

  • Hamilton Stories: Mardell Doubek

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    Hamilton Stories: An Oral History, was a six-event speaker series at Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum in 2015 and early 2016, that commemorated the occupational heritage and process of making wood type. Founded in Two Rivers, Wisconsin in 1880, the Hamilton Manufacturing Company became the largest manufacturer of wood type in the United States. As a local employer and an enduring legacy, Hamilton established a culture of quality, pride and innovation that influenced the community to this day.

    Hamilton Stories was established to preserve the stories of six former Hamilton employees who worked in the company’s wood type cutting area. Each event featured one guest speaker who shared his or her personal experience at the company. The Museum Director interviewed each speaker with a series of questions to reveal their experiences and guide audience members through the process of creating wood type. Beginning with harvesting wood, cutting letterforms on a pantograph and finally trimming...

    Read more...

  • Welcome, Silver Buckle Press!

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    We are pleased to announce a long-term agreement and collaboration with the University of Wisconsin to house the Silver Buckle Press (SBP) at our location.

    Former Hamilton Resident Artist and SBP curator for many years, Tracy Honn has been an ambassador of Hamilton since our beginning. With Tracy's plans to retire from the UW in 2016, the University determined that budget cuts would make it impossible to replace her in that role. The most creative solution is to move the SBP to Hamilton to further preserve the craft of letterpress printing though programming and education. We have set aside an area within the museum to house the SBP and maintain it as a discrete collection.

    Our plans include establishing a SBP Residency for qualified printers, give pre-scheduled tours, and make the SBP available for teachers offering instruction in hand composition, fine printing and book arts. We are excited about this ongoing partnership with the UW System, which will include opportunities to...

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  • Meet a Volunteer: Glenn Leege

    Glenn Leege is another of our long-serving volunteers having been with us for 12 years. He retired from Hamilton in September 2003 and the very next month he was giving tours at the original museum site on Jefferson Street.

    Glenn’s history with Hamilton’s starts in May, 1959 when he responded to an ad placed by Hamilton’s in the Sturgeon Bay Press – Glenn’s hometown – for wood plant workers. He was hired on the spot. At that time, Hamilton’s was building the last wood plant structure on the north side of the main campus on Jefferson Street. That newest addition is where Glenn spent the majority of his 44-year Hamilton career working in Cabinet Assembly Dept #33. At this writing, that “newest” building is the final structure remaining on the original factory complex site.

    Glenn lives in Two Rivers with Judy, his wife of 55 years. They have 3 daughters and 2 grandchildren. In his spare time he likes to travel and has visited many...

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  • Hamilton Stories: Don Konop

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    This weekend Don Konop shared with us his Hamilton story. Don was hired at the Hamilton Manufacturing Company in January of 1959 as a machine hand working on various type of machinery. After many years and promotions from Cabinet Maker to General Supervisor, he ended up being the Plant Manager of the entire wood plant. He regaled us with many tales, including what it was like to be in the Hamilton Marching Band. Don is now the President of the Two Rivers Historical Society and we are very happy to work with him.

    Hamilton Stories: An Oral History is a six-event speaker series celebrating Hamilton Manufacturing Company’s occupational heritage and the process of making wood type. This was the third event in this series. The museum is recording and preserving the memories of original Hamilton employees who worked in the company’s type cutting area. This program is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National...

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  • Hamilton Stories: Norb Brylski

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    If we think of Norb Brylski as the museum's godfather, he surely didn't disappoint in the second round of our oral history series. Norb's history began in Pulaski Wisconsin, where he worked and operated his own shop in that town. From his beginning at Hamilton in the early 60s, this is the story of a man who adapted to all the tasks he was asked to learn. Pattern maker, wood finisher, sander and type cutter are a few of the thing's Professor Brylski expounded upon in the interview. A voice that took us from the Hamilton factory, through the rise and fall of HWT, and then to becoming one of the best loved volunteers at the new Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum, Norbert Brylski shared his wealth of stories and personal past.

    Hamilton Stories: An Oral History is a six-event speaker series celebrating Hamilton Manufacturing Company’s occupational heritage and the process of making wood type. The museum is recording and preserving the memories of original Hamilton employees who worked...

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  • Hamilton Stories: Kenny Koenig

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    Master carpenter Kenny Koenig gave an engaging interview for Hamilton's first of six oral histories at the museum. With his tenure of employment spanning the 70s until the plant closing, his is a unique voice to preserve. From information regarding everything from kiln drying wood for type, to knowledge of the "type shop" and observing the closing of the plant first-hand, Kenny provided us with great insights into an important period in the company's history.

    Hamilton Stories: An Oral History is a six-event speaker series celebrating Hamilton Manufacturing Company’s occupational heritage and the process of making wood type. The museum is recording and preserving the memories of original Hamilton employees who worked in the company’s type cutting area. This program is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

    Check out the program page for more information about this series and see upcoming dates!

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  • Giving New Life to an old Hamilton Drafting Table: Final Construction

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    Follow along as guest blogger, Doug Murray, goes through the process of refurbishing an old Hamilton drafting table found in a barn! This is the final installment, so make sure you start at the beginning with his first post.

    The end of an era! I can’t believe it’s over. This desk started as a massive pile of flotsam and materialized into a serious labor of love. I had no idea how satisfying it could be to restore such an amazingly classic Hamilton drafting table.

    The initial phase of construction was the frame, which went together very smoothly. Long eight inch bolts ran through all the preset holes and mated up with their specific support posts and beams with half inch nuts. The frame was only seven pieces, but this was an excellent “footprint” to see where this large desk could actually fit. Moving around the frame was ideal. I was...

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  • Giving New Life to an old Hamilton Drafting Table: Sanding, Stain, and Finish

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    Follow along as guest blogger, Doug Murray, goes through the process of refurbishing an old Hamilton drafting table found in a barn! This is part 4, so make sure you start at the beginning with his first post.

    Final Sanding, Stain Application and Protective Varnish Finish

    Well I’m in this project about a month already and I can kind of see the finish line. I have to remind myself, “Don’t get impatient! This is the point of the project where rushing will cost you greatly.”

    I’ll talk a little bit about my finishing process and then explain how the Hamilton desk was fine tuned. After all the repairs and sanding, it’s good to go over every piece with a fine grit sandpaper; 180 to 220 will do just fine. Then take a towel and give all the pieces a good rub to remove all particles and contaminants. Some people like to use a...

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  • Giving New Life to an old Hamilton Drafting Table: Repair Time!

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    Follow along as guest blogger, Doug Murray, goes through the process of refurbishing an old Hamilton drafting table found in a barn! This is part 3, so make sure you start at the beginning with his first post.

    Well the good news about getting through major steps in a big project is the sense of accomplishment you feel when achieving goals. After section 2, I was very excited to be done with the varnish and stain removal. The bad news is that people sometimes apply dark stains when they are trying to hide blemishes. In the case of my Hamilton desk, this was an understatement.

    Removing the dark stain and varnish did reveal the beautiful bare oak grain. What it also exposed was 60 years of use, wear and tear and abuse. In some ways, when you are restoring classical pieces, it is good to leave the blemishes that show the pieces natural age. Leaving some wear and...

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  • Giving New Life to an old Hamilton Drafting Table: Stain and Varnish Removal

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    Follow along as guest blogger, Doug Murray, goes through the process of refurbishing an old Hamilton drafting table found in a barn! This is part 2, so make sure you see his first post.

    Stain and varnish removal is no fun at all! When considering the scale of any project, this is probably the most labor intensive stage. My Hamilton desk is composed of 34 individual wood pieces. Unfortunately, the previous owner decided to apply a deep brown stain on top of the original faded varnish. They then applied several layers of a hi-gloss varnish. This created a nasty tar-like look. I’m sure when they completed the application, they were very disappointed with the results. The problem with staining and varnishing without properly preparing the surfaces is that the finished product will never look good.

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  • Giving New Life to an old Hamilton Drafting Table: The Beginning

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    Follow along as guest blogger, Doug Murray, goes through the process of refurbishing an old Hamilton drafting table found in a barn!

    Oay, Here we go! I found this desk on Craigslist stuffed in the back of an old barn in Massachusetts. The project was massive from day 1. I somehow managed to stuff the entire collection of scraps and boards into my pick up and headed off down the road wondering how the hell I was going to fit this project in my studio!

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    The good news is that everything fit in the studio, the bad news is, there's very little working space. When the previous owner declared the desktop to be 88 inches wide by 48, I laughed and figured he had messed up his measurement. My jaw dropped when I starting grasping the scale of the drawers, cabinets and that massive desktop. His math was accurate, much to my chagrin.

    When stepping out and committing to a restoration project on any piece, you should...

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  • Meet a Volunteer: Bob Mueller

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    Bob Mueller is one of the museum’s longest serving volunteers. He has been here since 1995 before the museum was even open! He began volunteering upon retirement from Hamilton’s and helped move, unpack and setup the museum at its original site in the factory complex on Jefferson Street. If you’re wondering about those early days and what it was like to help create a museum from scratch, he’s your guy!

    Bob is Wisconsin born and bred. He grew up in Fort Atkinson and Appleton, attended Marquette University, attended the seminary, and married soon thereafter. He joined the Navy in the late 1950’s and taught at the Naval Amphibious Base in San Diego. In 1963, when his military service was complete, a job in lab equipment sales was waiting for him at Hamilton’s. He eventually moved into project management and ended his career at Hamilton’s with a total of 34 years which includes a 2 year return to the job from 2003-2005.

    In Two Rivers, Bob and his first...

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