Studio Visit: the Cross Plains Review

Posted by ashley mcneill on

Earlier this month, Trent and I went to the small town of Cross Plains TX for Howard Days (weekend celebrating the life and works of Robert E Howard, one of T's favorite authors). Because I like nerdy literary stuff, I happily tag along.

This was our second time attending Howard Days and during the first, the Cross Plains Review offered a tour of their office and I read that they had a vintage printing press. Sadly, we weren't able to get there in time for that, but this time I reached out to the paper well in advance and asked if there would be another tour. I received the response of no, but they'd be happy to show us around anyway.

Our first stop in Cross Plains was the Review, and a very nice woman named Becky showed us around. Behind the front desk/shop is a 1922 Model 8 linotype machine, a huge (by my standards) Babcock printing press- so large that the building was built around it...

Babcock Printing Press in the Cross Plains Review.


Babcock Printing Press in the Cross Plains Review.

... a composing stand sans type drawers:

In the next room a guillotine paper cutter:

... and in the far back room, a small job press like Vera, but a little older:

Horton printing press in Cross Plains Review.

The jobber press is a Horton, which I had never heard of before, and was missing some parts so wasn't in working order. Visiting the Review was a great start to our weekend out of town, and worth the visit should you find yourself in the no-longer-dry town of Cross Plains.

P.s. I came across a video of the tour given last year, and if you skip to about 26:34, Jack starts to talk about the small job press and the dangers- all still relevant today!

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