Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Pressing Matters-

I first became aware of the Southworth - Anthoensen Press because they published many of the Walpole Society's "Notebooks", as well as many fine antiques-related titles in the 1940s-1960s. Their books were always beautifully designed and finely printed.

The Portland, Maine press variously known as the Southworth Press, Southworth - Anthoensen Press, and Anthoensen Press, was founded in 1875 by the Reverend Francis Southworth to print tracts for Maine-based mariners who populated Portland’s busy port.

Fred Anthoensen was hired as a compositor at the press in 1901, and eventually became Managing Director. In 1934 the press became the Southworth - Anthoensen Press, and in 1944 the name was changed to Anthoensen Press.

For much of the 20th century the press was known for its fine presswork and design, and it printed books, pamphlets and other materials for Harvard, Yale, Bowdoin College, the Boston Athenaeum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Peabody Museum, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Walpole Society, the Limited Editions Club, and many individuals and organizations who wanted fine presswork.

It was especially known for printing maritime histories, genealogies, and fine press productions, and its books were designed by such luminaries in the trade as W.A. Dwiggins, Bruce Rogers, George Macy and Fred Anthoensen. A.S. Rosenbach's “Early American Childrens' Books”, and first editions of works by Marianne Moore and Stephen Vincent Benet were printed by the Press.

The press closed in 1987.

We have a small pile of book prospectus's and other promotional material from the Southworth, Southworth - Anthoensen, and Anthoensen Press, much of it related to Americana and literature, which we will be auctioning n the coming weeks. Please keep checking our auction listings if you are interested.

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