Wautoma Intro to Print students hold The History of Print Exhibition
Wautoma High School’s Introduction to Print class put on a special exhibition on March 12 on the History of Print for the community to enjoy.
The students in Wendy Appel’s Intro to Print class have been working on a project that spans the history of print from the 1400s until the present since first semester. With the help of Library Media Specialist Marsha Walejko, students selected a time period, did extensive research, and created a model that depicted a major advancement in print during that era.
These models were introduced by the students who worked on them to those who attended the History of Print exhibit, and then they answered questions. Not only did these models contain visuals and information that many visitors didn’t previously know, but the students cited their work to illustrate they has used scholarly sources to do their research. These students definitely didn’t take the easy route when they were preparing their projects.
The projects started with The Age of Gutenberg, which was presented by Brandon Schultz. Johannes Gutenberg invented the first printing press in 1450, and this changed the way books were printed, because more copies could be printed for less money. This meant that the average family could obtain the Bible and other works.
Daniel Caro discussed how print made its way over to America in the 1700s. One interesting topic was how the font changed when it came to America, so that it would be more appealing to the eye. Three of the fonts that were popular were William Caslor, George Bickham, and John Baskerville. Daniel noted that Caslor Pro and Bickham Pro are still used today. Also during this time, Benjamin Franklin founded a subscription library called Library Company of Philadelphia in 1731.
Introduction to Print is a dual course, meaning students not only get credit for Wautoma High School, but they also get two credits for Northcentral Technical College, Wausau. “We have students that have discovered a passion,” said Appel, “and some of these students have moved onto Northcentral Technical College.”
Emily Wenninger and Hailey Miller worked on the automation and major manufacturing section of history, which covered topics such as the industrial revolution and the rise of the U.S. steel industry. Emily and Haley included photos and descriptions of the printing presses and how the evolved over time. Four of these were the Stanhope Press (1800), Schnellpresse (1810), Linotype (1886), and Chandler & Price Platen Press (1912). Publisher and Editor of the Argus, Mary Kunasch, noted that the Linotype Machine was used at the Argus when she first started her job in 1967.
Printing eventually made its way to the Offset Press, which was explained by Jacob Siebers. Jacob reviewed the process of Offset printing and how it made printing that much faster than lithography.
At the end of the presentation, Appel discussed the future of print. While many people say that print is dying, this isn’t true. Society is moving more toward digital print as digital continues to improve in quality and affordability. One of the ways print is changing is through Variable Data Technology, which is how the Introduction to Print class prints the Wautoma High School Diplomas. There is standard information–such as the format of the diploma–that is kept the same, but the individual names are plucked from an Excel sheet that contains the graduates, and inserted into diploma. That makes each diploma individual to each recipient.
While the students gave the Red Carpet Guided Tour on March 12, the exhibit will be open until the end of Friday, March 15 for community members to view at their leisure.