- First Name
- Last Name
- Press Name
- Williams Stationery Co.
- Website or Blogsite
- Year You Started with Letterpress
- How You Got Involved In Letterpress Printing
Well every story needs a beginning, mine started on December 8, 1960, when I was born. During the summer of 1961, I was adopted by the only parents I have ever known. However, I was unaware of the fact I was adopted until shortly before my father's death in December of 2003. When I was growing up, I can't say that I really even knew what our family did for a living, until I was in high school, anyway. During that time, UPS was on strike, so I would walk to the shop after school and help my father take the daily shipments down to the post office. Fortunately, the strike only lasted a couple weeks, as I best remember. But, that was my first introduction to the family business on a personal level. Prior to that time, I had been working on a couple other businesses of my own. I started selling Christmas Trees each Christmas from a tree farm my parents bought that adjoined their property when I was 12 years old, and when I was 14, I started a pet boarding kennel in my parent's garage. Those two ventures lasted until I started college, and netted me enough income to pay for all but $800 of my college education.
After my first year of college, on May 19, 1980, I started working for the company on a regular basis. I started right at the bottom, and got no advantages granted because I was the owner's son. My first jobs in the pressroom was to clean the presses! But, by the time the first summer was over, I had been working on setting up forms and doing makeready on the V-50's, learning the basics of press maintenance (oiling & lubrication), learning how to clean and maintain the Intertypes and even setting some type on the Ludlows. I also learned the basics of our stationery production, and printed many of the "standard" products that needed little in the way of makeready or preparation.
When I graduated from Syracuse University in 1983, I truly started working full time at the company, and in July 1986, I became Vice President of the corporation (Finally a little advantage for being the son of the owner!). By 1994, I was running the show almost 100%, but my father continued to hold the purse strings and handle all the company financials right up until his death at the age of 82+ in December of 2003. During the years between I have learned how to do everything in the place, including typesetting on the Intertypes, which I now do exclusively. I have done all the equipment maintenance and repairs for the past 20 years, and so far have not had a problem I have not been able to handle.
Since my father's death, my wife, Marianne, and I have been trying to rebuild and redirect the business from it's original market of low-priced commodity grade stationery to be sold as a fund raiser through schools, churches and other groups to a more specialized letterpress shop offering services to the local printing trade and working on developing a line of high-end letterpress stationery. We will probably continue the fund raising concept for the present time, but will definitely be increasing the quality of the line and adding some new stationery items in the near future.
- Presses & Equipment
Currently on the production floor and ready for daily use we have four Miehle V-50's. These are the pre-WWII versions with the single pump and the rear cross shaft and left side mounted motor. We also have five B. Verner Model FM Multipresses that we mostly use for printing folded stock and envelopes. That makes up the main press room. In the other press area, we have an 8x12 C&P New Style, a 10x15 C&P Craftsman Hand Fed and a 10x15 C&P Craftsman with Rice Feeder that we use to run glassine envelopes 2-up on a nearly daily basis (1.5-2 million envelopes a year). In the composing room, we have three Intertypes, two model C's and one model C-4. We also have two Model L Ludlows (Slant top) and three cabinets of mats. There are also two Hammond Glider Trim-O-Saws (model G), we use one for metal and one for wood, so we keep the sawdust out of the type metal! In storage for use in the future we also have two C&P Craftsman w/ Rice feeders, one is strictly a diecutter with no inking system, two Model 4 Little Giants, one B. Verner Model FM Multipress and one post-WWII Miehle Vertical V-50.
- Education & Training
B.S. in Business Administration, Syracuse University
- Work History
- 1972-1982: Seasonal Sales of Christmas Tree
1974-1985: Owner/Operator, West Wind Boarding Kennels
1980-Present: Williams Stationery Co.
- 1980-1986: General work: form layout, press, typesetting, paper cutting, etc.
- 1986-2003: Vice President, handling day-to-day operations since 1994
- 2003-Present: President and co-owner with my wife.
- Other Interests & Hobbies
My wife Marianne and I enjoy traveling around the country as often as possible. The past couple years we have been meeting other letterpress printers in the north east quarter of the country. Everyone we have meet to date has been extremely friendly and we have had fun meeting them. We enjoy decorating the house for the holidays, and pictures of our house for various holidays can be found on the web at http://www.lwwilliams.com. Sometimes I get a little out of control, especially for Christmas. We live in a quiet development in Rome, New York, about 20 miles from the plant, and have 1 cat and no children. Next time we hit the road, we may stop in and see you!
- Letterpress Group Memberships, If Any
- APA, LOLP, Array
- Birth Year