Historic Printing Presses

Online Exhibits

Accessibility for the masses. 

Explore the way the American Printing House adapted or invented ways to emboss tactile books and print regular and large type.

Closeup of printing type in a wooden printer's tray
  • A man wearing an apron stands behind a bulky printing press watching braille pages stack up on the right in a printshop

    APH Embossing Press Chronology

    The first challenge facing the newly formed American Printing House in the Blind was mastering the technology of using traditional printing machines to “emboss” raised characters readable for people who were blind. This exhibit explores the different press designs used on the production floor at APH.

  • Woman in print dress leans over a large iron Chandler and Price printing press in the corner of a cinder block building, her hands in the jaws of the press. A table in the foreground holds printed record labels.

    APH Ink Print Department Chronology

    APH was founded to emboss books in tactile alphabets, but the company also needed traditional in-house printing capability to print instruction manuals, reports, labels for Talking Book records, and to “foil-stamp” book covers. This exhibit explores the machines in the Ink Print Department at the Printing House.

  • Dark haired woman wearing a colorful striped blouse sits and operates a boxy printing press with a line of other machines and operators stretching off to right in the background

    APH Large Type Printing Press Chronology

    APH started experimenting with large print textbooks in 1936. The presses used to emboss braille were not suited for this purpose. This exhibit explores the presses used in the Large Print Department at APH.