Wednesday, November 17 the honors 8th grade U.S. History class went to the Crandall Printing Museum in Provo Utah. The museum was founded by Louis Crandall, while Wally Saling, and John Peterson were there to help with the presentation. Mr. Crandall, along with his companions, have been printing for a very long time. For most of them, since they were 14!
We were able to learn the history of printing. Mr. Peterson craftily told us a story that happened during the dark ages, where Johannes Gutenberg invented the first movable type used in printing. He passed around an 800-year old page of a bible, written by a catholic monk, on velum (calfskin). With great thinking, Johannes Guttenberg was able to make, as many agree, the greatest invention of all time, the hand type caster. With this invention, Johannes Guttenberg changed the world, as they knew it. Many more people were now able to read for themselves. We were then given a demonstration on the steps to printing using a printing press.
We were then led into the Benjamin Franklin room, where we saw an identical replica of Franklin’s press. It was made from blueprints donated by the Smithsonian. Seeing this replica of the same type used to print the Declaration of Independence, we were able to learn that printing played a major role in the founding of America. Yet, there in Provo, Utah were replicas of printing materials that formed this great nation.
From that amazing historical room, we were then led into yet another historical room. This room was the exact dimensions as the print shop that printed the first 5,000 copies of the Book of Mormon. Louis Crandall directed us in seeing possibly the first hand caster for the books. With many other replicas of objects, and an example of how they put the books together, Mr. Crandall opened our eyes to the past.
This was an experience, as Mr. Crandall said, “Will change our life forever”. I would defiantly recommend going to the Museum. The Crandall Museum will soon be undergoing a huge remodel that will be even better than before. Our class certainly enjoyed it.