the lead out
Retirement from a 37-year
career in publishing gave Kay Michael Kramer 61 (printing
management) more time to devote to his lifelong passion –
Kramer began acquiring
vintage printing equipment and types in the 1960s, not long after
joining The C.V. Mosby Co., the St. Louis-based publisher of medical,
nursing, and college text and reference titles. Today, the basement
of his Kirkwood, Mo., home holds two presses: a Vandercook SP15
and an 1840 Albion handpress. These are the heart of The Printery,
his highly regarded private press.
Kramer began producing
fine printed pieces during his college days. Under RITs
former student imprint, The Press of the Good Mountain, Kramer
created Christmas greetings and booklets. Those annual holiday
productions have continued, along with limited edition books and
Each is a work of art
and a labor of love. The projects involve a concept and design,
selecting or creating appropriate artwork, finding special papers
and binding materials, setting the type, printing the pages, and
binding them – all by hand.
You have to
be interested in the subject matter of a project because its
a very labor-intensive process, notes Kramer.
Last year, The Printery
published the text of a 1970 talk by the late RIT professor Alexander
S. Lawson. Printers Manuals: from Moxon to the PIA traces
the history of English-language printers manuals from 1683
to 1953. Kramer printed 100 copies of the 64-page monograph. The
10 leather-bound copies are no longer available; most of the 90
clothbound copies, at $175 each, also are sold. As with his other
publications, many copies found homes in libraries. RITs
Melbert B. Cary Jr. Graphic Arts Collection is home to one.
received a very positive response to it, says Kramer. Alex
was known worldwide.
To learn more about
Printery products, contact Kramer at (314) 821-1465 or send e-mail