Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Charles "Shakespeare" Palmer, founder of the Shakespeare Press, working in his backyard printing office. Fresno, circa 1960s.
Known as "Shakespeare" to his friends, Mr. Palmer spent his free time from the 1930s to the early 1960s locating and restoring historic pieces of printing equipment. His collection grew and became a historic model of the typefaces, printing presses, and other equipment used by printers of the American West during the late 1800s.
In 1950, Bert Fellows, the first head of the Graphic Communication Department, invited Mr. Palmer to display his collection in Cal Poly's newly established printing department. Mr. Palmer began sending his collection to the college, and the transfer of equipment continued until after his death in 1964. On April 30, 1966, the department officially dedicated the collection as a museum, and after an extensive period of restoration, it opened to the public on May 24, 1969.
Check back--we'll be adding more soon!