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At the invitation of Clarence W. Mendell, Master of Branford College, the
Masters, faculty advisers, and undergraduate printers of Timothy Dwight
and Jonathan Edwards gathered with those of Branford at the Master's House
to form the Company of College Printers. The account of the meeting printed
the next day in the Yale Daily News was fairly accurate, although Mr. Paradise's
class was given as 1908 instead of 1918, and August Heckscher's name was
misspelled. The "two of the University Press" were Carl Purington Rollins,
Printer to the University, and George T. Bailey, Manager of the Printing-Office.
The office of "Devil" fell early into disuse. A copy of Mr. Heckscher's
keepsake is in the Company's archives; the earlier keepsakes, referred to
in the News, have apparently not survived.
NOVEMBER 3, 1937 The Company met at Calhoun College (one of the three colleges which have never had presses) at the invitation of Mr. Rollins, an Associate Fellow. Dinner, according to the News, was "served in the style of a medieval banquet," and Mr. Rollins afterward entertained the group in his own private shop.
MARCH 4, 1938 The Company was "invited to dine at St. Ronan's College," the St. Ronan Street residence of Carl A. Lohmann, Secretary of the University. Nine undergraduates and seven of the elders attended. Melbert B. Cary, Jr., '16, founder of The Press of the Woolly Whale, New York, was present as the Company's first guest speaker. The Branford College Press furnished the keepsake: a pamphlet entitled "Connecticut Hall--Extracts from the Corporation Records of Yale University pertaining to the Erection and Naming of a New College Hall Completed in 1752."
JANUARY 24, 1939 Nine printers and seven elders (including George Parmly Day, Treasurer of the University and President of the University Press) dined at the Timothy Dwight Master's House and afterward visited the Printing-Office of the Press, where Mr. Rollins and Mr. Bailey had prepared, as a single-sheet keepsake, "LINES Found in Printing-House Square after the Times had been redressed typographically."
FEBRUARY 22, 1939 The Jared Eliot Association's exhibition of undergraduate printing opened in the University Library. Besides Mr. French's "History of College Printing," the Branford Press pamphlet included a "Critique of College Printing" by Mr. Rollins. The Branford printers committed an embarrassing (if not unforgivable) error in slipping a superfluous l into Mr. Rollins's middle name, viz. Purlington.
MARCH 5, 1940 The Honorable Company of College Printers (so designated for the first time in Mr. Lohmann's invitation) dined again at "St. Ronan's College" and discussed "plans for celebrating certain anniversaries of importance in the history of printing." The attendance: ten from the lower case and seven caps.
APRIL 17, 1940 The celebration and exhibition "in honor of certain important anniversaries" opened in the University Library. Timothy Dwight had printed the invitation, Jonathan Edwards the program, and Branford a poster. Three addresses were given: "The First Printing Press in Europe: 1440" by Alfred R. Bellinger; "The First Printing Press in the Western Hemisphere: 1540" by George A. Kubler; and "The First Printing Press in New England: 1640" by August Heckscher II. After the speeches, three members of the Honorable Company, in costume, using an 1840 hand press belonging to Mr. Rollins (with German ink on wet paper) struck off, as a keepsake, copies of the Connecticut Gazette from type set by Mr. Rollins. (Prior to the meeting, the members of the Company and the guest speakers had dined together at Jonathan Edwards.)
DECEMBER 11, 1952 The First Revival Meeting of The Honorable Company was held in Pierson College, with cocktails in the Master's House and dinner in the Hall. At the meeting afterward, August Heckscher gave a talk on the origins of undergraduate printing at Yale and the early days of the Company.
George D. Vaill, '35, Director of the Branford College Press, was persuaded to accept appointment as Historian pro-tem of the Company and was charged with the task of preparing its official history. (Few of those present that evening, however skeptical, thought it would take him fifteen years to finish it.)
The keepsake, prepared under the direction of the Pierson printers' adviser, Alvin Eisenman, Typographer to the Yale University Press and Lecturer in the Graphic Arts, was a broadside entitled "The Good Master of a College," printed (although not set) in the Pierson shop and embellished by the hand of a native Lubricator.
APRIL 18, 1955 The Second Revival Meeting was held in Branford College. The invitation was set in 19th-century type faces in George Vaill's Bethany Press and printed at Branford. After cocktails and dinner, a formal meeting was held, with Vaill presiding and reading excerpts from his incomplete history of the Company.
The group unanimously adopted a code of By-Laws which established two classes of citizenship: Members (undergraduate printers) and Associate Members (Masters, advisers, and other elderly persons). It also provided for two officers: a Captain of the Company and an Adjutant (later changed, after a lively colloquy, to Master of the Chapel and Scribe, respectively). The final article of the By-Laws, headed DUES, stipulated: "There shall be no dues."
Berkeley's Chief Printer, Benjamin C. Duggar, '55 E, was inducted into office as Master of the Chapel, and Vaill was named Scribe. (The latter, at this writing, is still in office: the By-Laws, which he drew up, made no provision for recall or impeachment.)
Founding Fathers Lohmann, Mendell, and Rollins were among the twenty-three present. It was agreed that the time-honored term Wayzgoose should be adopted to describe future gala affairs of the Company. James Grafton Rogers, the first Master of Timothy Dwight, had used the word in correspondence about a printers' dinner in 1938. Mr. Lohmann set forth the historical justification for its adoption: "Brewer, in his Phrase and Fable, has this to say of Wayzgoose: 'An entertainment given to journeymen, or provided by the journeymen themselves. It is mainly a printers' affair which literary men and commercial staffs may attend by invitation or suffrance. The word wayz means bundle of straw and wayzgoose a stubble goose--properly the crowning dish of the entertainment. The Dutch wassen means to wax fat.
"The origin of the wayzgoose is a bit obscure, but stubble goose may be the better of the two. The entertainment was given in August (according to the Oxford Dictionary) to mark the beginning of the season of working by candle-light. The fields were then in stubble, so the word reflects not only the main dish but the time of year when the dinner was held."
The Branford Press had prepared, as keepsakes, certificates of membership for the Company.
JANUARY 23, 1956 The Master and printers of Berkeley College were hosts for a Wayzgoose in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Franklin, Printer. At cocktails everyone was given a copy of the Tileston & Hollingsworth Company's 1956 (Franklin) Calendar, one sheet of which had been designed by Mr. Eisenman and printed by the Yale University Press.
The after-dinner session was held in Berkeley's Swiss Room, where Thomas C. Mendenhall, the Master, welcomed the guests and distributed copies of the Berkeley Press's keepsake, a letter from Bishop Berkeley to the Reverend Samuel Johnson (1749). Henry W. Heikkinen, '56 E, Chief Printer of Branford, presided as Master of the Chapel. Associate membership was formally conferred upon Frederick B. Adams, Jr., '32, Director of the Pierpont Morgan Library and Associate Fellow of Berkeley; Leonard W. Labaree, '26 Ph. D., Farnam Professor of History and Editor of the Franklin Papers; and Richard L. Purdy, '25, Associate Professor of English and Fellow of Berkeley College.*
A committee was chosen to set up an exhibition of the work of the college printing-offices, in the University Library, about April 15: the Chief Printers of the six presses, together with Mr. Lohmann, John H. Ottemiller, Associate University Librarian, and the Scribe.
*Among Mr. Purdy's other qualifications for membership: in the year 1927-1928, he took a course in printing under Mr. Rollins, on the Library's Bibliographical Press.
Mr. Adams then delivered a paper, "Franklin and His Press at Passy," which later appeared in the April issue of The Yale University Library Gazette.
Thirteen Members and eighteen Associate Members were accounted for at all or part of these festivities.
APRIL 18, 1956 An exhibition of undergraduate printing (1936-1956) and the work of the Bibliographical Press opened in the Library (and continued on display until June 18).
APRIL 24, 1956 A Wayzgoose was held at Timothy Dwight College, with a "printer's punch" being served in the Master's House before dinner. Printer Heikkinen presided at the formal meeting. The Scribe, having been put to some minor expense for meeting notices and sundries, attempted to amend the By-Law prohibiting the assessment of dues, to provide for an annual capitation of fifty cents. After a discussion characterized by some scurrility, the motion was defeated by a vote of 27 to 0, the Scribe, in a state of shock, abstaining.
Associate Membership was formally conferred upon Philip Hofer, of the Harvard University Library, who then spoke on "John Howard Benson, His Life and Work." The T.D. Press's keepsake, a small four-page folder with cover, discussed further the life and work of Benson, who had received an Honorary M.A. degree from Yale in 1955 and had died in February, 1956.
NOVEMBER 5, 1956 Taking advantage of the Scribe's absence (on an official trip to Hong Kong), Chester Kerr, Director of the Yale University Press, and others instigated a meeting in furtherance of the idea that the undergraduate printers needed, in addition to formal meetings-with-speeches, more opportunities "to talk with each other and look around each other's shops." The group gathered for sherry, dinner, and a shop-tour in Pierson, whose Master, the Reverend Sidney Lovett, explained the philosophy governing the operations of that college press. Mr. Eisenman conducted a demonstration.
Mr. Kerr's memorandum to the printers had concluded with an attractive proposal: that, in the spring, there would be "an exhibition of the year's output, and a cash (repeat, cash) prize for the best work."
OCTOBER 29, 1957 The printers of Silliman College entertained their colleagues from Berkeley, Branford, Timothy Dwight, and Pierson (J.E. abstaining) at sherry, dinner, and a demonstration tour of their shop, where there was on display an exhibit of the work of all the presses. Fifteen of the faithful were present.
APRIL 22, 1958 A "working meeting"--like the one suggested and arranged earlier by Mr. Kerr--was held in Branford. Ten were present, representing (in addition to the host college) Timothy Dwight, Pierson, and Silliman.
MAY 13, 1958 A Wayzgoose and meeting were held in Pierson College, whose Chief Printer, Duncan M. Moodie, Jr., '59 E, presided as Master of the Chapel.
Mr. Kerr announced the establishment of a prize, given in memory of Mr. Lohmann, "for the best printing produced by undergraduates in one of the college presses," the competition to begin in the fall.
An informal address was given by the Master-designate of Pierson, Quincy Porter, a life-long working printer with his own press, who related that one of his early-childhood jobs was a card advertising his printing services and stating that all work would be "done well if done at all."
Of the forty-eight who had been invited, eighteen answered the roll.
OCTOBER 29, 1962 The Third Revival Meeting was held at Branford College, with the invitation list limited to the printing colleges' Masters, faculty advisers, and undergraduate journey-men, plus James W. Boyden, Manager of The Printing Office of the Yale University Press.
Branford's Chief Printer, Wayne E. Batcheler, '64, presided as Master of the Chapel and distributed a keepsake. Mr. Boyden invited the members of the Company to avail themselves of the services and assistance which the Press could offer.
Sixteen were present, Morse-Ezra Stiles and Silliman being without representation.
MARCH 12, 1963 Fifteen printers, Masters, and advisers met in Pierson College as the guests of its Master, Quincy Porter, who, after dinner and a tour of the Pierson shop, showed the group his own press and distributed copies of one of his delightful pieces, "An Attempt to Capture Lou Holtz in Writing."
MARCH 22, 1963 The Jonathan Edwards College Press held a reception on the occasion of the opening of new facilities. August Heckscher was the guest of honor, and the keepsake, printed by David A. Libby, '64, was a reprint of "An Absence of Time" from Mr. Heckscher's The Public Happiness. The Branford College Press printed special "consanguinean felicitations" for the occasion.
APRIL 30, 1963 The Master and Printers of Timothy Dwight College invited the Company for a Wayzgoose. Cocktails, a printer's punch, and "ink solvents" were served before dinner. Wayne Batcheler presided at the business meeting. The guest speaker, introduced by Mr. Eisenman, was Leon Voet, Director of the Plantin-Moretus Museum and Print Cabinet of Antwerp, Belgium. The T.D. printers' keepsake was a rendition of Clarence Day's "The World of Books" dedicated to the memory of President A. Whitney Griswold, whose death had occurred eleven days earlier. Thirteen elders and eleven printers attended. Mrs. Voet was present as the Company's first lady guest.
NOVEMBER 23, 1964 Four of the printing colleges' Masters, three advisers, and fourteen printers met in Branford for the customary preliminaries, a brief business meeting, dinner, and a tour of the hosts' shop. Malcolm S. Harris, '65, Chief Printer of Jonathan Edwards, presided at the meeting as Master of the Chapel. There was a discussion of the comparative pricing schedules used by those presses which were accepting work from outside their own colleges. There was no keepsake.
DECEMBER 8, 1964 An informal gathering of the Company examined, at the University Library, a collection of treasures from the Plantin-Moretus Museum and Print Cabinet of Antwerp (loaned by the Belgian government and circulated by the Smithsonian Institution) and heard brief remarks by Alvin Eisenman.
FEBRUARY 1O, 1965 A considerable number of the Members and Associate Members of the Company accepted an invitation to attend a reception and typographical exhibition of the work of Leonard Baskin (Professor of Art at Smith College, artist, sculptor, designer, and proprietor of The Gehenna Press at Northampton) in the University Library.
MAY 4, 1965 A Wayzgoose was held at Jonathan Edwards College, with a large number in attendance. Malcolm Harris presided at the meeting, and Mr. Eisenman introduced the evening's speaker, Leonard Baskin, who launched a devastating attack upon modern printing in general and upon photo-offset lithography in particular.
The keepsake, produced by the joint efforts of the University Library, the Yale University Press, and the printers of Jonathan Edwards, was a facsimile of a letter of Benjamin Franklin's setting forth his scheme for the establishment of a printing-office in New Haven. With the letter facsimile was a facsimile of a transcription originally printed by Mr. Rollins in 1922 and a pamphlet containing explanatory words by Howard S. Weaver, Adviser to the J.E. Press.
The Lohmann Prize, given to "the undergraduate who has produced the finest printing on the press of a residential college," is being awarded this year for the first time. Those who have contributed to the fund supporting the prize are:
Originally printed at the Carl Purington Rollins Printing-Office of the Yale
University Press, 1967. Reprinted (and slightly abridged) with permision
of the Yale University Press.
Go to Random Notes on the Origin of the College Presses
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