Peabody Printing Museum

category : Museums
Peabody Printing Museum The Peabody Printing Museum is a collection of hot type equipment dating from 1870 to 1920. Not only is this Museum an attraction for those visiting Peabody, it also serves as a memorial to the thousands of "ink-stained wretches" who worked in or operated newspapers and print shops in Kansas and the rest of America. Since the 1960s, printing has undergone a huge upheaval, and the equipment and methods of the "letterpress" or "hot type" printing have virtually disappeared in commercial printing and publishing companies. The Peabody Printing Museum hopes to preserve a bit of this great printing history which dates back to the 15th century and the invention of moveable type by Gutenberg, climaxed after the invention of the Linotype of Merganthaler little more than a century ago virtually disappeared in a period of less than a quarter of a century.

Efforts are underway to teach younger persons (anyone younger than the two old proprietors ages 80 & 75) the knowledge of the equipment by offering special training programs.

W.H. Morgan, the first editor of the Peabody Gazette printed the first few issues of the paper in Atchison and brought them to Peabody for distribution in 1873.

Mssrs. Chandler & Prince would most certainly enjoy a visit to the Peabody Printing Museum, since it's filled with their wonderful products. The giant press, 15 x 20 C&P Platen looms large in the main gallery. Across the room is an exceptionally fine 10 x 15 C&P that is treadle driven (no motor!)

Also in the museum are two 6 x 10 Pilots. These are bench model presses that are set up for younger visitors to print calling cards, or their own Christmas Cards. (their names are slugs set on one of the Linotypes).

The C&P's were the most popular platen presses the early part of this century.

The Peabody Printing Museum currently has two working Lintotypes, a Model 5 and a Model 8. The Model 8 Linotype was the foundation unity on which the Museum was built. The Model 8 was salvaged after the Peabody Gazette fire of 1967 and was taken apart, piece by piece and reassembled. The Linotypes are truly a piece of work and a joy to watch in action.


It is the hope and dream of curators Bills Krauts and Jackson that the Peabody Printing Museum become the finest "working" printing museum in Kansas and the Midwest. Currently all but two items in the museum are in working order, but maintaining these items will be the true test. Currently plans are underway for printing classes that will enable a much younger generation to continue the legacy that Krause and Jackson have just begun.

Jackson at 81 years young and Krause at 75 both give several days a week to the museum. They serve as guides, curators, acquires, mechanics and much, much more. But we are always in need of contributions from others. Contributions could be in the form of money, lead, equipment, expertise or volunteer hours.

Help the Peabody Historical Society keep this legacy alive not just for Peabody but for all those printers across the midwest.

Wanted: The Peabody Printing Museum is badly in need of an old Washington style Iron Handpress. There are probably a dozen kicking around Kansas and it is our hope that you can help us find one. If you can help, please call.

Hours: Memorial Day thru Labor Day
2nd and 4th Saturdays 2 - 4 p.m.
( appointments Welcomed )
Address: 220 N. Walnut Street
Phone: 620-983-2174

Come visit us in Peabody, Kansas

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Prairie Lawn Cemetery

Of special interest in the Prairie Lawn Cemetery whose association began in 1880, is its close connection with the Civil War.Around 125 graves of veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic are found here. According to the Peabody Historical Society, more may exist, although they are unmarked.

Peabody, KS Cemeteries

Peabody Driving Tour

The Peabody Driving Tour takes you beyond historic main street to view 27 beautiful works of architecture in churches and homes of the founding families dating from 1877, and then onto City Park, site of the 1885

Peabody, KS Tours

Carnegie Library

Steel magnate Andrew Carnegie gave millions of dollars to establish libraries across America in the early 1900s. The women's study clubs of Peabody were determined to bring a Carnegie Library to Marion County - they were joined by civic leaders and county commissioners and obtained $10,000.00

Peabody, KS Carnegie Libraries

Peabody Museum Historical Complex

The 1874 frame building given by railroad executive, F.H. Peabody, to express his appreciation for the town being named for him was the first free library in the State of Kansas, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. He gave 2,000

Peabody, KS Museums

Morgan House

The Morgan House is a two story Queen Anne Cottage built by W.H. Morgan, first editor of the Peabody Gazette, for his family in 1881

Peabody, KS Museums

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