Introducing our new local newspaper for the Festival, The Glastonbury Free Press, which will be printed on site using vintage letterpress technology.
We’re importing a five ton 1954 Original Heidelberg cylinder press which will print all night to produce your daily morning paper. These historic machines dominated the printing industry for most of the 20th Century – Their makers Schnellpressenfabrik Heidelberg invented the mechanism for an automated sheet fed press – before these arrived in the 1930’s, every sheet of paper had to be fed by hand.
The text will be set using lincasting ‘hot metal’ technology, a method invented by Ottmar Mergenthaler in 1884 which revolutionised newspaper production and became the industry standard for nearly 100 years. The Intertype machine mechanically casts metal ingots into lines of letterpress type by combining a series of facinating automated mechanical processes in a structure that dwarfs its operator. The machinery moves with such steampunk drama it has been labelled ‘the pinnacle of Victorian engineering’ and ‘the eighth wonder of the world’. You’ll be able to see this in action all day as we prepare the type, or place a small ad with us and see your words cast in metal to be printed in the next edition.
All our vintage machinery will be on show as it operates, so drop by and see the press in action. We think we can print roughly 1,500 newspapers an hour with this, so we’ll need to run the press from about 10pm – 10am to fill our print run. Early editions of the papers to be available from the early hours each day, and should be distributed site-wide in time for you to read over your breakfast.
More news on the Free Press soon…