Tag Archives: Ramage press

Decades of Dust

Henckel press3
Beth vacuums dust from the Henkel press.

Today is a big day in the library and it is graduation weekend. You want the library to look its best all of the time but especially so at times like these.

While Meg was installing the new exhibit, we noticed that a few feet away our Henkel press was really dusty. I got out the trusty HEPA museum vacuum and cleaned a lot of dust from the press. I suspect the dust on the Swiffers may now be archival since it dates to the old hallway area that is now under construction.

Duke University acquired the press in 1931 from the Henkel family. It is the press that the Henkel family used to print most of their early 19th Century books. Ambrose Henkel purchased it sometime before 1810 for $135.00. The screw was made by Henry Ouram in Philadelphia. The press is constructed in the style of Adam Ramage, also of Philadelphia, who is credited with making about 1,250 of these “lightweight” presses.* It is now clean and ready should a certain famous rock musician decide to visit the exhibit.

*This information is from the sign on the press, author unknown.