Presses Keep on Rolling at the Great Minnesota Get Together

Photo of a man at a large printing press

Geezers and geeks alike have a chance to capture the sounds, the smells and the stories of Minnesota’s newspapers at the Minnesota Newspaper Museum.  You’ll experience the process of mid-1930’s era news production when Linotype, letterpresses, and a maze of mechanical and manual tools kept Minnesotans up to speed on everything from the weather and the economy to matters closer to home, including weddings, funerals, births and out-of-town visitors.  Scores of volunteers, including many retired newspaper men and women, are more than pleased to demonstrate, explain and even share hot off the press souvenirs with all comers – especially the young who’ve never seen a working letterpress or elders who stop to reflect on the influence of Minnesota’s vital newspaper industry in their lives.

The Minnesota Newspaper Museum, opened in 1985, reflects the commitment of newspaper leaders to their profession.  Earlier this summer past presidents of the Minnesota Newspaper Association pooled their resources, including their normal mileage and pre-diem allowances, to make a generous contribution to the Museum.  Their largesse echoes the spirit of Bernie Shelrud, publisher of the Maynard News, who kick-started the Museum;  in 1984 Selrud sold his letterpress shop and all of the equipment so Minnesota State Fair-goers could remember and learn about hand set lead type and the mechanics of getting the news readers to throughout the state.

This year the story of the Museum and the work of letterpress printers are part of a film being produced with Legacy funds.

Stroll through Heritage Square to the far end where you’ll be treated to a lively learning experience, a great chat with a printing pro, a copy of the day’s newspaper produced right before your very eyes on a letter press that rolls 9-8 every day of the Fair.  Free and open to all, whether you can still smell the ink of the morning’s paper or whether you depend on Twitter for the news that matters.

2 responses to “Presses Keep on Rolling at the Great Minnesota Get Together

  1. Hi Mary

    It is not the State Fair, but Czech and Slovak Sokol Minnesota is gearing up for its 21st annual Czech Slovak Festival September 19 at the Highland Park Pavilion in St. Paul, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.. This festival truly reflects the ethnic and immigrant culture back to the first Czech Slovak settlement in St. Paul’s West End/West 7th Street neighborhoods since 1860’s. The program features folk music and dancing, menu of Moravian Kurací Paprikáš s Knedlíkem/Chicken Paprika with Dumplings; Uzená vepřová žebírka/Czech Pork Ribs (with Dumplings & Sauerkraut); Slovakian Holupki or Polena Kapusta/Slovakian Cabbage Roll with Halusky Kapustou (blended boiled dumplings, steamed cabbage, roasted bacon; Pirohy/Potato and Cheeze Dumplings; Jiternice (sausage); Chlebíčky/open face sandwichesa quilt and boy’s and girl’s bike raffle. Did I say traditional beverages?

  2. Sounds like great fun!

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