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The Printing Museum

In this building, originally used as a laundry in the town of Vaasa, you can see a compact version of the old printing office of the local newspaper Vasabladet. Vasabladet is Finland’s second oldest newspaper, founded in 1856. In the newsroom, articles, news and other press items for the following day’s issue were written and edited. And in the composition room, the typesetting was done. There, types with letters on them, just a few millimeters in length, were placed by hand, mirror-inverted, and letter by letter, into words, sentences and whole pages. In olden times, every single type for every single word, on each individual new page, was moulded in lead. But eventually, the whole alphabet was moulded in a specific font, and the typesetting was done by a complicated machine. Then, the newspaper was printed out on sheets of paper in the printing room. Here, you can see the oldest printing press in Finland, probably manufactured in the late 1840’s. It actually survived the Vaasa city fire in 1852 – the heavy iron construction only fell through a roof and broke two of its pretty feet, shaped like lion’s paws. Finally, we have a room for book-binding, containing items from local printing houses and binderies in the area. During the opening hours of the Stundars museum, you can view the inside, and even have a look at today’s newspaper – or what would have been today’s paper, a hundred years ago.