The 13 Virtues According to Benjamin Franklin
Second edition, March 2020

As the inventory of the popular first edition has dwindled, it became time for the first reprint of anything ever from The Heavy Duty Press. This edition is on Zerkall Nideggan, very slightly redesigned, and quite honestly, printed better than the first edition 20 years ago. That’s what experience will do for a printer.

7.5″ x 16″; the type is hand set in original ATF Century Expanded and Franklin Gothic, with an assortment of fists, acorns, rules, and other ornamental sorts. Edition of 100 copies, signed and numbered.


Nature Quote from Charles Dickens
First edition, March 2020

This print was strategically created to sell at the Oxford Fine Press Book Fair at the end of March 2020, which never happened thanks to the virus. Regardless, it’s nice to have something in the catalog honoring Mr. Dickens, and especially something thematically aligned with the Declaration of Orientation.

7.5″ x 14″; the type is hand set in original ATF Century Schoolbook, with favorite ornamental border sorts, printed on Zerkall Frankfurt Cream. Edition of 40 copies, signed and numbered.


Earthed by Steve Kilbey
First edition, February 2020

This text was set in nearly 20 years ago in the former St. Francis shop, after receiving verbal permission from Mr. Kilbey after a concert by The Church at Shank Hall in Milwaukee. The text is the introductory prose in a companion booklet of poetry for a collection of instrumental musical pieces by the same artist, of the same title, published in 1987.

7.5 x 14″; the type is hand set in ATF Century Oldstyle, with decorative ornamental border sorts, printed on Zerkall Franfurt Cream. Edition of 40 copies, signed and numbered.


The Salutation of the Dawn
First edition, January 2020

First heard recited by Paul Kaye as Kenny Marsh on an episode of the British television series Two Thousand Acres of Sky, and always felt it was an obvious choice of text for a broadside from The Heavy Duty Press.

7.5 x 14″; the type is hand set in Bruce Rogers’s elegant Centaur, with the title set in rare 16 pt Solemnis cast by Theo Rehak at the Dale Guild in the late 20th Century, and decorative ornamental border sorts, printed on Zerkall Franfurt Cream. Edition of 100 copies, signed and numbered.


The Declaration of Orientation

Tactile Impression Edition

On 10 February 2017, two versions of the Declaration of Orientation were printed to announce the relocation and revival of The Heavy Duty Press’s letterpress shop in Liberty, Wisconsin. The print shown above is from a limited edition of 40, with tactile impression on 300 gsm Hahnemuhle Copperplate 100% alpha cellulose acid free paper. Copies from this edition were mailed to a personal list of special collections librarians.

Seems slightly narcissistic to think someone might actually believe purchasing a copy of this would be a wise investment, or even consider it worthy of inclusion in any collection, for that matter, but a fellow has to believe in himself, if only just for the fun of it. 5 copies remain for sale to serious collectors only.

6″ x 16″; the type is hand set in Century Expanded, with a header in Bank Script.



The 13 Virtues

The classic thirteen virtues of Benjamin Franklin, hand set in genuine 12 pt. ATF Century Expanded and Franklin Gothic lead type with a variety of ornamental rules and flourishes, an assortment of acorns and leaves, bi-racial fists, a couple stars, the liberty bell, and a turkey (Franklin’s known preference for the national bird). Printed with black ink on 15″ x 6.25″ laid finish paper with pastel flecks in pinks, purples, and blues with the Vandercook SP-15 in 2001.


First edition, 100 copies.
A screamin’ deal at $3/virtue.



The borrowed text on this print is set in Earthish, a Midwestern English dialect-reading phonetic alphabet developed within the editorial pages of The Sphere in the early 1990s. The alphabet was subsequently refined and the rules finalized in the private journals of Mike Koppa. This is the first time the alphabet appeared in print (2003), and as of 15 November 2016, it remains the only time.

The alphabet was designed, from the beginning, to use only existing characters in order to be used with existing hand set type. This broadside is set in (mostly) ATF News Gothic, with Century Old Style characters when it became necessary.

A very short summary of the basic rules of Earthish
Vowels have only two sounds, long and short, and the q has become an additional 6th vowel to cover the 2 “oo” sounds. Each vowel has a default “short” sound and a “long” sound, which is indicated by a preceding silent x. This is the only use for the letter x: a silent indicator of a long vowel sound. The x is the only modifier of a vowel sound.

There are no contractions. The ch sound, for example, is represented by an upside-down K. The C, which is unnecessary as a representative of either the K or S sounds, represents the sh sound. An upside-down F represents the th as in “the.” An upside-down lower-case h represents the th sound as in “think.” There’s a flaw in the system there…an upside-down uppercase H is hard to differentiate from a right-side-up H! (See the official manual [forthcoming?] to learn how this was resolved, or take a good look a the title.)
Y is the ng sound.


The translation, in part:

A man’s intellectual character is determined by what he habitually thinks about. The mind cannot always be consciously directed to definite ends; it has hours of relaxation. There are many hours in the life of the most strenuous and arduous man when the mind goes its own way and thinks its own thoughts. These times of relaxation, when the mind follows its own bent, are perhaps the most fruitful and significant periods in a rich and noble intellectual life. The real nature, the deeper instincts of the man, come out of these moments, as essential refinement and genuine breeding are revealed when the man is off guard and acts and speaks instinctually….

The rest is left as a challenge for anyone interested in finishing.

Signed edition of 30 prints on cotton rag paper
15.5″ x 10.5″



16″ x 10″ broadside printed from wood type set by hand at the Hamilton Wood Type Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, in 2011. Signed and numbered limited edition of 25 prints.