Time Out Melbourne

Visit Melbourne's oldest typefoundry and discover a world of publishing history

Putting words to paper was once a heavyweight sport. Typesetters would literally set type, using huge machinery, tiny pieces of metal and gallons of ink. It was a time-consuming, laborious process that achieved beautiful results. The Melbourne Museum of Printing displays these old letterpresses and book binding equipment. It even has an incredible 1920s linotype from New York - a groundbreaking contraption in its a day, kind of like a room-sized typewriter.

Michael Isaachson never published books per se, but traditional publishing methods have been his life-long love. He has been a printing enthusiast since the age of nine when he discovered printing shops in Adelaide. At 11, his father let him buy a small desktop printing press which he used throughout his teenage years. “It was a unique and interesting thing to do for a little pocket money,” he says. In the 1970s Michael noticed printing firms were disposing of all their old machinery to make way for more modern technology. “The notion that computers would control publishing wasn’t even on the horizon.”

Their trash became Michael’s treasure, and now his treasure trove is open to the public to see and sometimes even use. When asked what his favourite piece of publishing history is, Michael doesn’t play favourites: “I love it all.” His oldest machine, however, is a handsome 162-year-old printing press.

The Printing Museum has just moved location to West Footscray - a huge effort for Michael and the museum’s volunteers. Speaking of which, if you are a design nerd (or just someone who likes getting inky fingers) why not put your hand up to become a much-needed volunteer for one of Melbourne’s most unique museums? Contact Michael at the museum to find out how.

First published on . Updated on .

By Isabel Dunstan   |  

Melbourne Museum of Printing details

Address
266 Geelong Rd, West Footscray 3011

Telephone 03 9689 7555

Transport
Nearby Stations: Footscray West

Price $5.00 to $8.00

Open Thu & Sun 2-6pm (no booking required); classes and guided tours can be any day

Melbourne Museum of Printing website

Melbourne Museum of Printing map

Report a problem with this page

Restaurants and bars nearby

Hyderabad Inn

866m - Although the Hyderabad Inn specialises in Northern and Southern Indian...

Sabroso

1001m - Meaning Spanish for ‘tasty’, Sabroso is Seddon’s palace of yummy tapas...

Le Chien

1031m - While there are several cafes around Seddon's main street, Le Chien is a...

More restaurants and bars nearby

Other venues nearby

The Drill Hall

926m - The Drill Hall has long been part of the Footscray arts scene. Home to the...

Around Seddon

1161m - This inner west suburb of Melbourne is home to the Seddon Festival.

Ruffian Gallery

1161m - Ruffian Gallery is dedicated to exposing emerging and alternative...

More venues nearby
Best dishes

Best dishes

The very best things we put in our mouths this month

Nixi Killick

Nixi Killick

Bend the rules for your chance to win a range of great prizes

The Dining Club

The Dining Club

Make the most of the silly season with food and drink pairings

Readers' comments, reviews, hints and pictures

Community guidelines

blog comments powered by Disqus