|Princeton University Library, Graphic Arts Collection.|
The First Annual Valentine Broadside Printing Event*
Saturday, February 4th, 2-4pm, 6th Floor, Main Library.
Join us for this inaugural event which marks the renovation of the library’s
1909 Albion handpress and discover one of SFPL’s hidden treasures.
|The Albion Press in Book Arts & Special Collections|
But who is Jane Grabhorn and what about those elephants?
Martha Jane Bissell became Jane Grabhorn when she married Robert Grabhorn of Grabhorn Press fame. Her husband explains in The Compleat Jane Grabhorn**:
Mea Culpa. In order to justify my presumption in offering this conglomeration of privately printed ephemera to a larger public than the author ever contemplated, some explanations and an apology are indicated.
In 1937, the author, my bride of five years' standing, after a year or two of enforced labor at the Grabhorn Press, where she had been occupied in proof-reading, folding printed sheets, hounding delinquent clients, writing letters and even introductions to books--suddenly revolted and decided to do some printing of her own and by herself. Upon my refusal to buy a toy press christened "Jumbo" seen in a shop window, on the ground that she was surrounded by presses, she persisted and set about adjusting to circumstances. I gave this proud woman a minimum of aid and counselled others to do likewise. Her experiences and the principles (or lack of them) of practice are retailed in the first...fruits of the Jumbo Press.
Thus, Jumbo Press was born with a tiny elephant as its press mark. Her first publications, of course, were manuals for printers: A Guide & Handbook for Amateurs of Printing and A Typographic Discourse for the Distaff Side of Printing.*** Here are the three basic tenets of the Jumbo Press which will give you a sense of her priorities.
Jane's more serious printing venture with William Roth was called the Colt Press--but that's another story.
Come on the 4th to print a Jane-inspired valentine and view the exhibit entitled Jane Grabhorn & Her Jumbo Press. Humorous valentines from the Duane Weston Antique Valentine Collection will also be on display. Once you see you will understand...and perhaps become a Jumbo enthusiast like myself.
*Participants will need to sign in and check bags at the front desk when they enter the SF History Center.
**The Complete Jane Grabhorn, Grabhorn-Hoyem, 1968.
***Oxford English Dictionary: distaff side n. the female branch of a house or family.
****Images of hearts, elephants and Bob and Jane are from Book Arts & Special Collections files.