HANCOCK - At The Book Concern in Hancock May 7, Ed Burroughs, his friend Al Sanborn, and owner Jack Eberhard took turns lugging around parts of an old printing press, loading them onto a trailer.
They weaved their way through remnants of a simpler time, one which Burroughs, who worked at The Book Concern 43 years ago, is hoping to recreate in a new project.
Burroughs, a Bruce Crossing resident, is acquiring the printing press from Eberhard to convert his garage in Bruce Crossing into a museum of sorts - with the feel of an 1890s print shop.
Daily Mining Gazette/Zach Kukkonen
Bruce Crossing resident Ed Burroughs, left, and Jack Eberhard, owner of The Book Concern in Hancock, stand next to the printing press that Burroughs is purchasing from Eberhard to start a museum of sorts with at his residence in Bruce Crossing.
"I started in my father's newspaper in Tennessee in 1948 and I've been in the printing business ever since," Burroughs said. "I just love the old stuff and I grew up in the metal shops.
"I'm going to set up a museum in my garage at home and it'll be a working 1800s, turn-of-the-century print shop for people to come and take a look at."
Burroughs opted to get back into the print game - he had to sell his specialty print shop a couple years ago due to health problems - when he discovered he had thousands of dollars worth of cutting dies left over. He called up Eberhard and discovered while Eberhard had the equipment to handle the dies, he had nobody to operate the press.
"One thing led to another, and he said I'd like to get rid of this," Burroughs said. "I said, well, OK, (I'll buy it).
"As I've been unloading these galleys of type, and the handset and all this type of stuff, I've found forms that I put together 43 years ago, and this equipment I worked on 43 years ago."
With this acquisition, Burroughs hopes to get people to view what days were like before the high-tech age made old printing presses less relevant.
"I'd like to see young kids or anybody under 50 put down their iPhone, put down their iPad, put down their computer, and walk into this old print shop," Burroughs said. "Just step back in time 100 years and see how we did it back then, which made it possible for you to have all these things.
"Say, if you came in and wanted to see an old 1890s, 1900s print shop and you wanted 50 business cards," he said. "I'll come in and show you how to do your own, you can pick out your type style, pick out the drawer, set your hand type, do everything and I'll be there to guide you and show you how to do it. You put it together and you print it on the old press, and you can walk out with your 50 business cards that you did in 1893."
The process has been the continuation of a lifelong pursuit of print for Burroughs, as he has spent time away from the industry but always ends up back in.
"I've had other jobs but I always stayed connected; I don't think a year has gone by where I haven't worked in a print shop," Burroughs said. "Even when I worked at the White Pine mine, I had a part-time job at the Ontonagon Herald."
Burroughs hopes to have the museum up and running by the end of the summer. For more information or to help in the operation, Burroughs can be reached at 906-827-3416.
"I'm not doing this as a money-making operation," Burroughs said. "But I wouldn't mind anyone who's interested in helping or donating equipment that's suitable - old printing equipment, old plaques, old photographs that I could hang up in the museum and give people credit for."