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Boston’s Colonial Era Printer

While touring the Freedom Trail with some friends visiting Boston, I happened across the Printing Office of Edes & Gill, kitty-corner to the Old North Church. If you’re a typophile like myself, you should really check this out.

Gary Gregory, the Master Printer that runs the shop, is bursting with excitement for type. After he let me make a print of the Boston edition of the Declaration of Independence, we fielded some questions from tourists and talked shop for almost an hour… until my non-designer friends had to literally pull me away from the shop so we wouldn’t be late for our next engagement.

Gary has a reproduction press from Colonial Willamsburg, as well as an original platen press that’s over 200 year old. Plus, access to some incredible reproductions of copper plate illustrations from the 1700’s, as well as a full case of lead Caslon.

If that’s not reason enough, he’s located in the Clough House, which has its own Boston history:

“This graceful home was built around 1712 and managed to survive when all its neighbors – including the house that Ben Franklin owned next door – were torn down. This was the home of one of Boston’s ‘substantial mechanicks,’ Ebenezer Clough, the master mason who helped build Christ Church (‘Old North’). Once, before the present-day promenade and newer buildings were here, many small brick houses like this one made up the prosperous neighborhood.”

Whether you’re a typographer, designer, lover of letterpress, history buff, or just plain curious about the history of Boston, America, and printing—stop in here! Gary has some amazing stories and historical tidbits to share!