Visiting the International Printing Museum
People say LA is devoid of culture but I know no other place where you can find a new, unique museum in nearly every corner of the county. You can celebrate historic trains in Lomita, learn all about dinosaurs in Claremont and take a ride in a classic car in El Segundo. Not to mention a children’s paradise in the heart of Pasadena, a collection entirely devoted to the San Fernando Valley in Van Nuys and a selection of contemporary art in Monterey Park. The options are endless! Recently, I headed to one of my favorites – the International Printing Museum in Carson.
Founded in 1988 by David Jacobson and Ernest A. Lindner, the International Printing Museum is devoted to the history of “books, printing and the book arts.” Located in a nondescript building across from a shopping center it’s a blink and you’ll miss it spot. But don’t miss it because inside is a treasure trove of historic printing presses, type and other fascinating equipment.
Walking inside is like walking into the past. The machines are set up as they were when in production and all are in working condition. So not only are they aesthetically beautiful but they still produce wonderful works of art!
Recently, the museum acquired a new collection that’s close to my classic film loving heart. The Earl Hays Press has been creating paper props for the film industry since 1915 and the museum recently acquired a collection of their historic pieces. On display are posters, newspapers, money and more created specifically for film and television.
I love that these seemingly disposal pieces of film history have been saved and are now on display for all to see. In fact, the museum is so chock full of items that I always find something new every time I visit. Last time I spotted a group of type used for classic film posters and was so excited to spot The Egg and I among them. It’s one of my favorite movies!
As much as I love looking at all the amazing pieces on display my favorite part of the museum is that the equipment is still used today. When you visit you have the opportunity to see the machines in action and may be lucky enough to try one yourself! On past visits I’ve had the chance to make bookmarks, cards and posters and even received a personalized line of linotype.
The International Printing Museum offers fun for people of all ages. With so much to see and do you can spend hours leaning about all the fascinating equipment and I guarantee you’ll never get bored. Tucked away in a corner of Carson it’s a hidden gem that I hope everyone gets a chance to discover.