Letterpress & Binding Studio

A Young Printer in San Francisco 1949

An account of a trip
Robert R. Reid (Heavenly Monkey 2007)

In 1949 Robert Reid celebrated inclusion of his first limited-edition book (The Fraser Mines Vindicated) in that year’s Rounce & Coffin Club annual book show, by driving down the West Coast to see the exhibition. Along the way he stopped in San Francisco, and during just a few days there, managed to meet a number of the city’s printing luminaries: the Grabhorn brothers, Col. Carroll Harris, and perhaps most memorable of all, William Everson, then at work on A Privacy of Speech.

This brief account of the trip is written in Reid’s customary style effusive for all things printed. Set by hand in 18-pt Perpetua and printed in two colors with our handpress on dampened handmade HM Text paper. The frontis is a specially commissioned contemporary linocut portrait of Robert by Andrea Taylor of Cotton Socks Press.

The edition of 50 signed and numbered copies (6 x 9 inches, 12 pp) was issued in two states:

Majuscule (numbers 1-15), with signatures cased in Reg Lissel’s transparent vellum paper, lined with a custom-made sheet of paste paper. These copies feature a frontis printed chine collé and signed by Taylor, and include a photo-etching reproduction of a snapshot of Robert Reid taken en route to San Francisco.

Miniscule (numbers 16-50), a single signature sewn in a wrap of paste paper made by Reg Lissel.

A Young Printer in San Francisco