This postcard was printed on this mechanical press, at the Public Museum of Grand Rapids, MI. I could have watched this press all day. The volunteer printer flung the big wheel to get it started, then kept it going with the foot pedal while he moved the cards in and out. All the parts moved fluidly, rolling the ink across a plate and printing a card in the time it took him to place a blank one. It reminded me of two things I love; treadle sewing machines from a similar era (the late 1800s), and the below quote from Anaïs Nin which appeared, with more excerpts, on Brain Pickings:
You pit your faculties against concrete problems. The victories are concrete, definable, touchable. A page of perfect printing. You can touch the page you wrote. We exult in what we master and discover. Instead of using one’s energy in a void, against frustrations, in anger against publishers, I use it on the press, type, paper, a source of energy. Solving problems, technical, mechanical problems. Which can be solved.
Here’s wishing you all a new year full of joy, handcraft, and solvable problems!