Reproduction Ramage Printing Press donated to Texas historic site

The Friends of the Texas Historical Commission are pleased to announce the donation of a reproduction Ramage Common Press by Arkansas printer and collector John Horn to the San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site.

John Horn collaborated with museum conservator Andrew Zawacki to make two copies of an original Ramage printing press in 1990. One of the reproduction presses was for the 1824 Woodruff Print Shop at the Historic Arkansas Museum. Horn kept the other press for his personal collection before deciding to donate it to the Villa de Austin at the San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site.

The Villa de Austin is an outdoor exhibit that is using archival and archeological insights to create new-made buildings and furnishings that evoke one block of this village on the eve of the Texas Revolution. One building is the Texas Gazette printing office, which interprets where the first book printed in Texas was pulled from a wooden Ramage press in 1829. The Villa de Austin and its working printing office will open to the public in November 2021.

Press donor John Horn is shown on left with project manager Michael Moore at his Little Rock printing collection. The second photograph shows the press in its new home in the 1829-era printing office at the Villa de Austin.

For more information on the Villa de Austin please contact Bryan McAuley, Site Manager, San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site ([email protected]).

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Log in to reply   2 replies so far

wow… that is a GREAT Machine!

A good friend of mine over in Fairhope AL used a very similar press back in the ’80s, and I had the opportunity to print on it many, many times. Those types of presses have an unmistakable charm to them, and can produce work with a look and feel that modern presses / printers can seldom achieve.

The next time I find my way to that part of the country, I’ll certainly stop in to see it. Thanks for posting the pics and info.

I find it sad that your post has been up on Briar Press for over a week, and nobody else commented on it. What a shame…. they have no idea what they are missing.

Boy, that IS beautiful! Thanks for sharing!