Thomas Gent’s Press at Scarborough Museums Trust
Our journey to build a reproduction wooden common printing press began in Scarborough with a press that once belonged to Thomas Gent. Thanks to collaboration and consultation with staff at Scarborough Museums, we were granted access to the fragmented remains and kindly loaned the press so we could transport it to York and use it to aid the building of our reproduction. In the future we hope to display it alongside our reproduction, and thereby create a unique teaching tool.
We took detailed measurements from the press and used them to produce plans for our working reproduction.
Preserving the 18th Century Wooden Common Press
Rebecca Rochat, an MSc Digital Heritage student at the University of York, is currently working to preserve the early 18th press as part of her dissertation research. She has used digital imaging documentation (photogrammetric 3D recording) to create a digital reconstruction of all 60 fragmented pieces of Gent’s press. A methodology is currently being tested to achieve the most accurate digitization of each fragment, some of which are in an advanced stage of deterioration.
Assembling our Reproduction Press
The plans we created by measuring Gent’s press were sent to the Wonder of Wood in Settle and used to create the wooden frame of the press. You can read more about this process on our blog.
On 19th of January 2019 the wooden frame was delivered. The wooden components of our press were assembled in only 12 minutes — a testament to the work of the Wonder of Wood and the accuracy of the plans created by Seth and Carla.
The Next Steps
So far we have the wooden frame, but we still require the skills of a blacksmith and a machinist to complete the press. We hope to have this work completed by December 2019.