Printers' Flea Market


It's September, and the oppressive heat here in Chicopee is finally behind us. Now that it's cooler, we're spending more time working in the store. Over the past several months, quite a bit of inventory from half a dozen shops was brought in. It's now being processed, sorted, priced, and put out on the floor for sale.


There's a lot of stuff, probably four or five full tables and more, enough to where we've decided  to have a "Printers' Flea Market." A two day event to be held on Saturday, September 17th and Sunday the 18th. This will be a fast developing project; there's much to be done, a lot of inventory, and not a lot of time. Things will be "raw," just as they came out of the basement, garage, or warehouse.


We'll be posting more photos and details of the inventory in the next few weeks leading up to the event.

Stay tuned for updates.


John's Collection


Over the decades of retrieving shops and presses, a collection of rare and unusual units has been gathered. The intent was, in our old age, to break them down, clean and restore, throw some ink on and experience the thrill of printing on a rare or older press. Well, I'm approaching "old age" for sure and it's time to be realistic. Much of my time in the past three decades has been spent retrieving and selling "letterpress things", something I'll continue to do, but time to clean and restore? Not really!  So periodically in the months to come, a unit will pop-up here on the website. They'll most likely be "as is, where is", but you'll know up front what's needed to get the press up and running. And they'll be reasonably priced. So the first unit I'm saying "good-bye" to is a Baltimore No. 14. See the Machinery page for pictures and more information about the press.

Update on San Jose Printers' Fair 2016


After two eye operations the past month the question was whether it'd be possible to make the trip. Initially the odds didn't favor it. But the surgeon, expressing very distinct precautions, has given the green light!


Unable to do much physical work until shortly before the trip, Sarah has stepped up, pulled together and packed a complement of type and supplies.


It won't be the four tables we normally set up, but all the basic supplies will be on hand.


So please, support the Printers Guild by setting the GPS for History Park on the 9th!

And for sure, stop by to say hello to JoAnn and myself; I'll be wearing the big wrap-around sunglasses.

                                                                                                                - John B

2015 - A "Fair" Year!

The Barrett's were fortunate to participate is a number of Printing Fairs across the country this year.

Without question a lot of preliminary work goes into gathering and packing supplies, type, etc. West coast Fairs require shipping by UPS; generally a dozen or more cartons. East coast ones the van gets the miles.

April saw us in San Jose, CA with the Printer's Guild; their 3rd and best year yet.

May we motored out Rt 90 to Wells College, Aurora, NY for the Upstate New York Wayzgoose.

First time, an impressive gathering and program.

After a casual summer next came the LA Printer's Fair at the International Printing Museum, Carson, CA. the first Saturday in October.

This is a Fair for all Fairs; 50+ vendors, several thousand attendees in perfect Socal weather. Finish packing after the show, slap labels on the cartons and get them immediately to UPS for a journey to Lancaster, PA. Fly home, gather up additional supplies and four days later drive to attend the Lancaster Printing Fair produced by the 918 Club from the Heritage Printing Museum. Another excellent event put on by the Club; their third year also and bigger than last year!

Despite the physical work, the stress and the uncertainty of traffic and travel schedules, JoAnn and I truly enjoy attending these Fairs. We meet hundreds of letterpressers, many who have emailed or called for supplies or information through the years. Our compliments to the organizations and the many volunteers who make these events happen. And especially, our thanks to all who have stopped by our tables, said hi and bought a "thing" or two, your support is appreciated.

-- John and JoAnn

Halloween Happenings

October 31st, a fun day at the store!

Everyone who came in left with a Halloween bag of letterpress treats.



Visitors included a photographer looking for still life props and a few of our "regulars" who just like to stop in to see what's new. It was really nice to have a group from the Women's Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY.

Their operation and programs are very impressive!



A special greeting to Angie and Daniel from Nova Scotia; they operate a letterpress print shop in downtown Halifax. 

The minivan had some weight going back home.




But the best of all; Darrell Hyder of Sun Hill Press dropped by with one of his latest projects. A multi-colored press sheet sampling quite a number of his personal wood type fonts!

Check out the photo (Darrell is the guy on the left).



It's been hot on the 4th floor at the store, challenging to spend much time processing up there. And there is new inventory to process; an entire truckload, two small basement shops retrieved on one of the hottest days of August.

Stay tuned for the "back" story and photos of what it takes to get the "stuff"




A number 'pressers took advantage of The Mass. State Tax Free Weekend, especially Sunday when the weather was a bit nicer.

Note the puddles from several downpours on Saturday.




Again, vacationers were welcomed to the store. Reggie, from Minnesota and staying with friends in Connecticut, came by to poke around and enjoy finding all sorts of supplies and treasures for his growing shop.




The visit almost ended in disaster when his friends car just wouldn't start. That is, not until after AAA was called, a tow truck dispatched, then it mysteriously fired right up. 

But all's well that ends well!



Vacations and Visitors

Well, vacation and the typical hot, humid days of July are behind us. The Barrett's took in the 4th of July festivities at the International Printing Museum in Carson, CA.


 It was a day of "hands on" on a variety of their presses with lots of visitors. The day topped off with plenty of hot dogs, lemonade and apple pie.


    The store reopened on Saturday, July 25th.  Despite being on the warm side, a steady flow of visitors continued all day. More than half were either en-route to or returning from vacation and had set their GPS for Chicopee. Letterpressers came from Michigan, Washington State, Central New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania. The furthest was a fellow from Prince Edward Island!

    As in past years, we try to accommodate travelers during the week. This year is no different with one or two people a week wondering if it's possible to stop for an just hour or two on a week day. Just a couple of days ago Brothers of St. Alben drove directly from Berkeley, CA to the store to visit and purchase supplies and type.


    To anyone traveling through Western Mass. this weekend (the 15th and 16th) we hope you'll plan to stop in. Big benefit is Massachusetts' annual "No Sales Tax" weekend. It's a chance to pickup some extra goodies without paying a sales tax. Stay safe out there. . .