Trends seem to arrive, peak, then disappear, only to reappear as a “new” idea in the next generation. In the wave of self-publishing we seem to be riding now, I thought I’d point back to the Victorian Era, when personal printers were all the rage.
For example, take a look at Elizabeth Harris’s book, Personal Impressions: The Small Printing Press in Nineteenth Century America.
It contains a catalog of small, handheld, and basic floor model printing machines, and encouraged individuals to do their own printing. Looks like you could make your own business cards, invitations, possibly a simple broadsheet.
While the ad below encourages “boys” to take up printing for fun and profit, I get the feeling their sisters were probably in on it, too. Don’t you?