Oldest Press
Windmill Letterpress, a.k.a. The Original Heidelberg, circa 1953
Windmill Letterpress, a.k.a. The Original Heidelberg, circa 1953
Featured Oldest Press Story #1:
Windmill Letterpress, a.k.a. The Original Heidelberg

Following is an excerpt from our first featured Oldest Press story, submitted by Katie and Ted Hefty from Hefty Graphics, Inc. in Minneapolis.

"Our Windmill was born in 1950 and purchased January 12, 1953, from The Showood Company, a.k.a. Heidelberg Central Inc. Heidelberg sold this fancy-shmancy piece of equipment for a total of $3,300.

My first recollection of our 10 x 15 Windmill Letterpress, a.k.a. The Original Heidelberg, was when I would accompany my father, as punishment for being a bad kid, to the print shop he worked in...I would learn about all sorts of things there. He would show me what went on in the dark room, how to use the cutter and most importantly, how the presses worked. I would always end up collating—it's pretty much the only thing an 8-year-old can do in a print shop, but it was worth it. I got to see all the cool things involved in the printing world (and he would take me out to lunch).

I will never forget the first time I saw the Windmill. I thought it was alive and that scared me a bit. The arms of the machine moved in a circle, grabbing the paper like an octopus, and it made a breathing noise that reminded me of the big bad wolf huffing and puffing and blowing the shop down. It wasn't until I was older, and I came to work for my father, that I discovered what an amazing piece of machinery the Windmill really is.

Our little Windmill has become somewhat of a novelty around town. College classes come in to see our Windmill and learn about how printing was done then. As the years go by and salesmen continue to walk through the door offering bigger and better presses, my hope is that our little Windmill never loses its spot on our pressroom floor."

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