The Antique Book Press

By: Carly Hill - Staff Writer • Aug 04, 2012 • 0 Comments

The written word is a time capsule, taking us back in history to stone carvings.  It takes us places we would never go with people we only dream of becoming like.  Technology has brought us to an age where the written word is floating around in outer space, magically available with the tic of the Google.   No matter how many new versions of the Kindle come out, nothing can replace the smell of yellowed pages and the sturdy feel of an antique book.

Take a look at this video (rather antiqued itself) of the old art of bookbinding.

Pictured here is a 19th century German iron book press, available from LR Antiques right here.

19th century printing was a whole new era of book publishing.  During this time, materials became less expensive.  Europe and America were expanding and competing in everything – Europe doubling in size and America growing 15 fold.  Books were needed faster, at higher volume, and cheaper!

Railroads were built, traveling increased, and so did the desire for reading material.  If you watch the video you can see the craftsmanship that went into producing just one of these beautiful books.  The book press role in the process was to keep pressure on the books as they dried. 

The beautiful, heavy iron of the book press makes it a wonderful bookend.  Its great for pressing flowers.  Sandwich a flower between two pieces of tissue paper, then sandwich it with wax paper on both sides, place it inside a book and use your book press.  Let it dry for about 24 hours.  An antique book press would make a great gift for a friend who is a writer or reading enthusiast. 

With the passing of time, has come the phasing out of paper.  More and more people are now reading books digitally on their Kindles.  Convenient?  Yes.  But, any book lover will tell you that you can’t compare it with reading a real book – especially reading a real, old book.  Like the man in the video said, “These workers know that the wearing out of a book from re-reading is a truer estimate of its worth than any review by a critic.”  Reading an old, beloved worn-out story that has been passed down adds a nostalgia and comfort to your reading experience that you can’t get from a lit-up screen.

Check out Latique’s collection of antique books and book-related treasures…