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Wayzgoose - boring personal recollections



The Wayzgoose thread had me on the verge of responding, when, behold, the
substance of my intended post arrived from Bridget Burke. It tells you
all you may wish to know, but I offer the following through memory's
haze.

I was privileged to be a member of the Honorable Company referred to
during 1961-64, and for the last two years as Chief Printer of the
Branford College Press, then in its 26th & 27th years I believe. George
Vaill was our own Advisor, and a very good fellow he was. He spent a lot
of time in our basement shop when not in his basement office in
Woodbridge Hall. He also had his own printshop at home. I have often
wondered what became of his foundry type. The Wayzgoose as presided over
by George Vaill was a very pleasant evening, with appropriate ceremony
and drink. We all wore jacket and tie as was required for all meals at
that time, and of course we were all male. Most of us had ink under our
fingernails. This might or might not be cleaned up in time for weekend
dates. I recall that some faculty members attended as guests.

Now that I know there are archives of those happy golden bygone days, I
will definitely have a look.

>From what I can tell, printing in the Yale residential colleges is not
what it used to be. Each press had a specialty, depending upon the
available equipment and the interest and skill of the printers and
advisors. Over at Jonathan Edwards, David Libby '64 was producing slim
volumes of his own poetry. Now he is in charge of Art & Design for DC
Heath's college division.

In the Branford shop we had a C&P and a Colt's Armory (non-OSHA, driven
by leather belts on the flywheels), a guillotine, several stands of worn
metal type and several cases of wood type. There was a Chief Printer and
2 or 3 assistants. My predecessor Sam Busselle '62 is now an architect.
All the printers were Bursary (scholarship) students, with an obligation
of 10 hours per week. We printed various invitations and announcements
for the College and did some poster work for the University that George
brought in. I had a "private" sideline in posters for student groups,
including the Film Society and Russian Club, and sometimes spent 20 or 30
hours a week in the shop. I guess I did 50% or more of the total bulletin
board poster business in those days. Every so often I bought a skid of
index stock. I got this in various colors, and tried to vary the
typographical style, so that each poster would be distinctive--usually
several of my productions were vying for attention on the boards. The
bulletin boards look a lot different today, much of the material on white
20 lb stock obviously from a laser printer via photocopy machine, with
graphics and type on a scale that is hard to read from a few feet away.
For the largest display lines I used 72 or 96 point wood; the smallest
type was usually 18 point. We also had 72 pt Caslon in metal. The Colt's
Armory chase was about 18' x 12' and the press was powerful enough to
handle a full form without bucking--really a perfect machine for the job.
It was easy to feed, because there was no feed board or mechanism between
operator and platen--it opened right into your (standing) lap. I still
have copies of most of my posters in an attic.

In 1963 it was decided that the Branford Press should print a mug book
for the College. Someone unearthed a Multilith press that even then was
antique. It was my job to get this running and produce the book,
equivalent to asking someone to take a junkyard Model T on a tour to the
Rockies. A darkroom was built for the camera work, which I also did.
Screening 200+ photos of faces assembled from miscellaneous sources and
printing them on the balky press was quite a challenge. On a recent visit
I saw the old Multilith rusting in a corner of a basement corridor, and
found it hard to believe it ever worked.

>Date:    Thu, 12 Jun 1997 10:53:22 -0400
>From:    Bridget Burke <bburke@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>Subject: Re: Wayzgoose
>
>The Honorable Company of College Printers at Yale University has an
>annual Wayzgoose.  The Company is composed of student printers from
>Yale residential colleges with active presses and their elders, and goes

>through cycles of activity--I'm not sure if there was a wayzgoose this
year,
>but in the past they have been held in the residential college halls,
and a
>keepsake has been provided by one of the college presses.  An archive of
>these keepsakes is available in the Arts of the Book Collection at Yale
>University.
>
>Visit the Arts of the Book Website at
>http://www.library.yale.edu/~bburke/aobmain.htm and go to Student
>Printing at Yale,  and you will find George Vail's "Random notes on the
>College Presses, together with a History of the Honorable Company of
>College Printers at Yale University"
>(http://www.library.yale.edu/~bburke/hccp.htm)
>See the entry for April 15, 1955 for his description of the origin of
the
>Wayzgoose.
>
>Bridget Burke
>Interim Curator
>Arts of the Book Collection
>Yale University


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