The Tramp Printers

Charles Overbeck

Eberhardt Press

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Forgotten Trails of the Travelling Typographers

The tramp printer was a typesetting troubadour with a story in lieu of a song, a scholarly hobo, and a master of the type case. Carrying little more than a union journeyman’s card and a few basic tools, these “itinerant” typographers criss-crossed the continent for more than a century, train-hopping from newspaper to newspaper.

To the tramp printer, personal autonomy and adventure were far more valuable than material possessions. Many of them were brilliant, literate individuals who were nevertheless compelled by a predilection for bacchanalian debauchery. The tramps helped each other over the hard places and spread the craft of printing, and always standing in solidarity with their fellow workers. 

204 pages, paperback

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