Looking for Letterpress Contacts in South and Central America

Greetings fellow printers and enthusiasts.

I am in search of as many possible south and central America print shops contacts as possible. I am planning a research trip to hopefully create a primitive network between north american and south american letterpress printers. My hope is that this network will generate long lost connections for affordable equipment and collaboration while also helping improve a third world economy. Locating these tiny back-alley shops via the internet has been almost impossible.

All the information I eventually collect will be made available to everyone with the long term goal of prolonging the trade.

Thank you all for reading this. I appreciate all potential leads.

brian durk -

dick and jane letterpress

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I don’t know about letterpress — I found a couple of small offset shops in Turrialba and spoke to one shop owner in Alajuela (both in Costa Rica). I haven’t searched for letterpress, though I will be doing so as I get settled in there in a year or so. Are you interested in all print shops or just letterpress ones? (I also plan to have my own hobby press set up down there at some point.)

Bob Oldham

About all I can tell you is that TONS of letterpress equipment was shipped “south of the border” (as well as to S.E. Asia) in the 70s, 80s and 90s as letterpress became less commercially viable in the U.S. A lot of it from here in Iowa was transported down to Texas by the truck and trailer-load. The only reason that the trafficing has slowed down to a trickle anymore is simply because there just are hardly any old letterpress commercial shops left to raid up here anymore.

I am involved with the Printers’ Hall letterpress museum in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and we just recently were able to raid what was probably the last medium to large-size letterpress plant in the state for our working museum.

Labor is cheap in third-world countries that are also technologically deficient, so letterpress is still viable for them.

-Rick von Holdt