University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Ganje, Fink will demonstrate antique letterpress printing in Braddock Sept. 7, 8

Professors Luce Ganje and Kim Fink of the Department of Art & Design will help demonstrate antique letterpress printing equipment during the South Central Threshing Association’s annual Threshing Bee and Antique Show at Braddock, N.D., on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 7 and 8.

The professors will show how printing was done in the days of steel and lead type. They incorporate letterpress concepts in their classes at UND, and they have their own letterpress studio in Grand Forks.

Allan Burke of Linton, N.D., is the curator of The Braddock News letterpress museum on the threshing grounds, and he learned about Prof. Ganje’s background in printing through Jim Nelson, publisher of the Timber Lake (S.D.) Topic. She grew up helping her parents at the Eagle Butte (S.D.) News. Last year, Profs. Ganje and Fink gave Burke and his wife, Leah, a tour of the Art & Design Department when they were visiting their son and daughter, both UND students.

Burke is publisher emeritus of two weekly newspapers, the Emmons County Record in Linton and the Prairie Pioneer in Pollock, S.D. He started working as a printer’s apprentice at the Carthage News, Carthage, S.D., in 1960 when he was 11 years old. He currently serves as president of the North Dakota Newspaper Association Education Foundation.

"We were so fortunate to find Profs. Ganje and Fink,” Burke said. “They will be instrumental in interpreting the collection.”

The museum has the most extensive collection of letterpress printing equipment in the Dakotas. The collection includes three rare, possibly one-of-a-kind presses, an 1895 Babcock Standard Press, an 1891 Walter Scott & Co. Pony Press (acquired this year) and an 1885 treadle-operated Alden’s Model Press, as well as an array of other presses, many steel fonts in type cases, lead casting equipment, bindery equipment and a Model 14 Linotype which was used to set type in lead.

The show features demonstrations of threshing oats, a saw mill, wood planer, shingle maker, stationary engines and steam tractors. There is a parade of antique equipment both days of the show.

Braddock is about 35 miles southeast of Bismarck, N.D. The museum is named for the town’s long-defunct weekly newspaper.