Thompson Plant to be razed

I received a call last week from Ed Thompson in Florida. He said the Thompson plant was being sold and would be razed shortly. I was surprised to find out that almost everything was still there, all the machinery, patterns, and plans. Where 150 employees once turned out letterpress type cases, furniture cabinets and a whole range of both wood and steel equipment has stood quiet these past 10 years. I bought as much as I could in the early days of NA Graphics to support Ed, but he stopped production to devote his time to the family run marina, on the same property.

I’m unable to do anything, having health issues of my own, but if any of the equipment, patterns, or plans are to be saved, it has to be done now and quickly. Ed is open to any reasonable offer. I hate to think of the patterns needed to make California job cases, for example, being lost to the scrappers bull dozer. The plant, all 50,000 square feet of it, is located in Ludington, Michigan.

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My heart skips… and tumbles (!)… when i hear/read such news !! I live just a few hours from there, and would gladly make a “detour” to see the factory next time (within 2 weeks) i’m driving south. Does anyone knows when the dozers will start, or how to reach Ed ??

International Printing Museum in LA?
Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum?
I wonder if Ed has reached out to these museums and others. Heck, there is the Smithsonian!

A last resort, eBay. At least it wouldn’t be destroyed.
Hire a professional auction house!

If I wasn’t on the other side of Lake Michigan I’d see about purchasing anything that I can afford. I hope at least some of it can be saved.

Is there a viable market? Even antique store vampires sell Cal Job cases for less than they could be made new. But if someone could get all the Thomson patterns and make other cases as well—open, yankee, 2/3, 3/4—there might be some hope.

Running a press while reading texts sounds a little … risky.

Wish I was 20 years old again. Hope this can be saved in time. If not, it’s lost to the ages.

Well Fritz, in the good old days this would have called for a field trip.
Unfortunately, those days have past for many of us.

Yes, I would be coming home with a semi load or two of more critical stuff, and my partner would be asking me “what are you going to do with this/” I’ve had more than my share of road trips, including one that involved gachap that was 1400 miles one way to the San Juan Islands in Washington state, although that was about 32 years ago.. Another one stretched to New Hampshire and the third one was to nearby Phoenix. I can’t go places now, but then I have more letterpress things than I’ll ever use.

Fritz, do you know demolition or contact info for Ed. Like Gerald I am in Michigan and would make a trip to buy some things just to see them saved gathered than trashed. thanks

What is the current status of this plant? Is it gone? I am in Michigan also and would be interested in doing a trip up there to salvage what can be salvaged. Does anyone have a name and contact information?