Charles Overbeck’s The Tramp Printers, Forgotten Trails of the Traveling Typographers from Eberhardt Press is a beautiful little book that would make a lovely gift for either the letterpress lover or union activist in your life.
From the Eberhardt Press website: “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… Many of them were brilliant, literate…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.”
The book features a useful glossary and a bibliography. One of these books is John Edward Hicks’ fascinating Adventures of a Tramp Printer, published in 1950. We thought that it would be worth making Hicks’ entire book available here on our website.