The Printery

In the days when hot metal ruled the newspaper industry machines like Linotypes and Intertypes could be heard – and smelled – working in newspaper offices around the country.

The Intertype on display here is more than capable of working, however while there are still a number of operators around, some with scary work stories, the mechanics needed to keep this machine ticking over like clockwork are few and far between.

Along with the hot metal machine, in this printery you get to see just some of the machines that were the predecessors to the massive colour printers that are in use now.

One of the unique pieces is a large wooden line ruling machine, which – as the name suggests – was built with the sole purpose of putting lines on paper for everything from exercise books to writing paper.

Other machines include a proofing press from the mid-1800s and a sheet-fed Wharfedale printing press.

One of the only displays in this room that is not capable of working is the old stapling machine. While it could be made to work, these machines had a penchant for stapling fingers.


And yes they work!

Here's a video of one of our members, who's based in Wellington but flies down to help, printing off a replica of the very first front page of The Timaru Herald.

You can read the full story here.

If you are an experienced operator or mechanic of printing presses, or are simply interested in getting involved with them, contact us.