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Jim Stewart”'s article in The Alley Prompts Visitor to Create a Wood Type Poster of Wendell Phillips

A poster marking Wendell Phillips”' 200th birthday, nailed to a power pole in the former copper mining town of Calumet, in Michigan”'s Upper Peninsula. Daniel Schneider, who lives in Michigan”'s copper district, nailed up 11 of the wood type posters in Calumet and surrounding mining towns on November 11, 2011. A novice letterpress printer, Schneider had printed the posters at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts the previous weekend after reading about Phillips in the November issue of The Alley. He left one edition of 11 eleven prints in Minneapolis to be posted in the Phillips neighborhood.

[Editor”'s Note: The following e-mail was sent to Jim Stewart, biographer of Wendell Phillips who recently was the keynote presenter at The Alley Newspaper”'s 11-11-11 200th Birthday Party for Wendell Phillips in Phillips Community.  A reproduction of the poster appears in this issue on Page 4.]

Dear Jim Stewart,

Late Sunday [Nov. 6th, 2011] morning I read your article about Wendell Phillips in The Alley newspaper. I had not heard of Phillips before, but found him an inspiring person. As it happened, the reason I was in Minneapolis was to receive training in letterpress printing at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. That afternoon we printed posters using wood type on a Vandercook proof press. I printed three editions of 11 posters each to mark Wendell Phillips”' 200th birthday. One edition I left in Minneapolis to be posted in the Phillips neighborhood. The second edition I will distribute between now and Friday in the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan”'s Upper Peninsula, where I live. The third edition I am saving for my own use. I would like to give you one of the prints from this third edition and am wondering to what address I should send it. I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your article introducing me to Wendell Phillips.

Best Regards,

Daniel Schneider

Second e-mail from Dan Schneider explaining wood type interest and resurgence

Dear Editor,

My girlfriend and I are involved in our community arts center in Hancock, MI. Bonnie is assistant director and I am a volunteer. For the past year, we”'ve been setting up a letterpress studio at the arts center with equipment local print shops donated when upgrading to more modern technology. Letterpress printing is enjoying a renaissance in the art community. For me, it resonates with my writing and newspaper background.  There is a lot of printing history in our area. Newspapers were printed in the many languages of the miners who immigrated here.

Bonnie and I visited a number of active letterpress shops out west last winter. We have been learning the technical skills from a letterpress printer who is setting up a printing museum here. The first weekend in November, four of us from the arts center traveled to the MCBA to learn about how they do their community programming. Their instructors also helped us with training on the technical aspects.

It was my first opportunity to print with wood type. I was struggling to think of something worth saying in big letters. I went for a walk Sunday morning in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood when I stopped in a coffee shop and found The Alley with Jim”'s story about Wendell Phillips.

Looking forward to seeing the December issue of The Alley,

Dan

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