Ben Franklin, Printing Week and Your APA Dues Notice!

With today being the auspicious birthday of BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Printer, and the beginning of International Printing Week, this provides me a great opportunity as your new APA President to welcome you to the New Year! May this be a year full of beautiful letterpress printing each month, arriving each month thanks to the postal system, set up by Ben Franklin and aided by our current mailers, Troy and Lisa Groves


International Printing Week was created by the International Association of Printing House Craftsman (IAPHC). The week surrounded the birthday of Benjamin Franklin, Printer, on January 17th. Printing Clubs around the country, as well as printers in general, celebrated the week with special activities, public events, newspaper articles on the printing industry and a good banquet. The IAPHC often issued special stamps for envelopes, posters, and even books to support the weeklong celebration across the county. The illustration above was from the Louisville Craftsman Club in 1958, the year APA started. I was a member of the Santa Monica, CA, Chapter; our distinguished Tramp Printer, Paul Aken, was a member of the Chicago Club and has quite a bit of memorabilia as well. It would be nice to hear who else was a member!

Membership dues are currently due. If you haven’t paid them yet, we have set up an ONLINE DUES option this year through this website by CLICKING HERE.

You can now pay by credit card, bank transfer through Zelle, or mail a check to Katie Roeck, the Secretary-Treasurer. Also, you can make an Additional Donation to help cover additional costs not covered by your nominal dues.

A few reminders and encouragements for 2021 for all of us in APA:

  • Print Early, Print Your Best & Print Often. 
  • Stretch your Printing and Design Skills this Year. 
  • Print to Inspire! Jim Daggs, our dearly departed Tramp Printer, accomplished this often, testified by my refrigerator which is still decorated by his printing. Personally, I want to print something that my fellow members think, smile and reach for a magnet on their refrigerator!
  • Communicate with Courtesy and Respect, whether in print or online. At the end of the printing day, we are a hobby organization made up of diverse members, but we come together to enjoy letterpress printing and friendship.

I am looking forward to a successful year full of ink, type and the sound of presses cranking! Ben Franklin would certainly approve. So lift a glass of Franklin’s favorite, Madeira wine, in his honor at your press. And get some ink on your fingers…

In the service of Franklin,


Mark Barbour
2021-2022 APA President
Send Mark an Email Message

Another Member Lost in 2020: Ren Vasiliev , #870

I came across this older comment in the website feedback system, but not all these get directed to me, so I missed it until I reviewed the comments tonight to eliminate the plentiful spam.  It was sent by Peter Jones, whom I can not find in the APA Roster, pst or present.

“I want to let the APA and its member know that member Ren Vasiliev passed away November 7, 2020. I do not know her membership number. I do know that she loved the art of printing and participating in the monthly shared printings.”  – Peter

Irina “Ren” Vasiliev

Buffalo – Irina “Ren” Vasiliev passed away November 7, 2020, at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Ren, a resident of Bloomfield, NY, was born August 1, 1954, in Nyack, NY; daughter of post-war displaced citizens of Russian origin, Catherine (Okolovich) and Peter Vasiliev. Including her parents, surviving Ren is her brother Sergei Vasiliev, of Venice, Florida.

Ren’s achievements include a BA at SUNY Oswego, MA at University of Buffalo, PHD in Geography at Syracuse University. Between degrees, Ren was the staff editor at the Cornell University student newspaper. After earning her PHD, Ren taught for 25+years in the Geography Department at SUNY Geneseo. At Geneseo Ren served terms as Chair of the Geography Depart., and as Faculty Senator on the College Senate.

At Geneseo, Ren received the Award of Professor Recognition from the Academic Affairs Committee and Student Association, and the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence from the State University of New York. Ren was an avid supporter of the SUNY Geneseo hockey team. One of her most joyous moments was being awarded an authentic SUNY Geneseo hockey-team jersey by the players when she retired.

Ren’s publications include From Abbotts to Zurich: New York State Placenames, available from Syracuse University Press. As a member of the American Names Society, Ren served as Editor of “Names: A Journal of Onomastics” 2002-2007.

Ren was a self-trained artist and her art has been displayed at SUNY Geneseo and galleries in Western New York. Ren was an artist in residence at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, and at other sites around the USA, and a member in the Amalgamated Printer’s Association.

Ren was open about her life-long struggles with bipolar disorder to help others who might suffer from any emotional disorder, particularly college students.

Ren’s family thanks the staff of 7 West at Roswell Park Cancer Center, for their professionalism, compassion and courtesy. A service for Ren will be announced by her long-time friend Peter Jones, when a celebration of her life, arts, publications, and other achievements, can be shared for all to safely enjoy. In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Elm & Carlton Streets, Buffalo, NY 14263.

Her obituary can also be found here:

2021 Membership Changes, Round 1…

Our Secretary/Treasurer, Katie Roeck, has completed round 1 of the annual membership changes due to resignations, removals, reinstatements and new members. These changes leave us with 148 active members and 1 tramp printer, so there are two vacancies in the roster. Here are the details of the changes made:

First, those leaving us for the moment:


#749: Jennifer Farrell
#882: David & Cathy Celani
#946: Bernadette Milan
#956: Mike Tyer


#672: Leland Whitson
#687: John Barrett
#857: Julie Russell-Steuart & David Steuart
#870: Ren Vasiliev
#901: Kelly Shields

And let us welcome our Reinstated and New Members: 


#605: David Smith
#833: Ivan Gulkov
#855: Selene Fisher
#919: Debbie Campbell
#943: Ethan Lipton
#949: Andrew Huot

New Members:

#979: Barry Mueller
Blairstown, New Jersey

#980: Steven Pommer
Allentown, Pennsylvania

Updated digital directories in PDF format of the membership roster are available in the files section of the Members Only group at

Link to Download Active Member Directories (For Active Members Only)

Rest In Peace, Dave Peat, APA #247

One of the APA greats, Dave Peat APA 247, closed his last typecase quietly and peacefully on Christmas Day 2020. He died with his wife Mary at his side, holding his hand, surrounded by all the warmth of his family. Dave’s passions, not only for type and letterpress, but all of his multi-faceted hobbies and interests, was infectious and stimulating to all who knew him. He was the consummate collector of all things letterpress, from Victorian type and specimen books, to presses large and small, to all of the printing tools, advertising pieces, trinkets and doo-dads associated with our esoteric hobby.

He immersed himself in all of it, as every corner of his home attests to. And Dave combined this passion with tremendous knowledge, full of detail on our heritage as printers, and he passed that knowledge and passion on to others with his wonderful sense of humor.

What a rich friendship he gave to so many of us, myself especially. He taught us to live your passions fully. Dave, you will be sorely missed but remembered deeply. Rest well, my friend.

Mark Barbour
APA 2021 President
International Printing Museum

Another Member Passing: Neil Giroux, #676

I just learned in a reply from Bill Soucy, to Jim Daggs death notice, that Neil Giroux, #676, has also recently passed from this plane of existence.

I had met Neil just once at a printer’s fair in southern Vermont either just before or just after I joined the APA. We always had plans to get together again in North Adams, MA, but never coordinated the time before he moved to Florida… Neil served as our Mailer from 2013-2014.

His obituary, as it appeared in, his old Western Massachusetts local news source:

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. —  Neil Charles Giroux passed away Sept. 14, 2020, in DeLand, Fla. 

Born in North Adams to the late Roland and Marian (LeSage). He graduated from St Joseph High School, University of Massachusetts, and Suffolk Law School. He was an Eagle Scout and served in the US Air Force the United States and Japan. 

Neil practiced law in North Adams for over 30 years, served the city of North Adams as a city council member and city solicitor. After closing his law office he worked for the state of Massachusetts as a defender in the Mental Health Unit.

He enjoyed hiking, camping, canoeing, traveling, reading and spending time with his beloved standard poodle Zola.

Neil was a member of the North Adams Rotary, V.F.W., American Legion, Masons and Shriners. As a member of Melha Temple in Springfield, he served as the chief clown and will be remembered marching in many Fall Foliage Parades as OKOK the clown.

Neil also was a hobby printer and member of the Amalgamated Printers Association.

Retiring to Florida he became an Ombudsman advocating for the residents of long-term facilities. Neil was a strong believer in advocating for those who were unable to advocate for themselves, adhering to the law and the Constitution of the United States of America.

He leaves his wife Barbara (Sheppard) of 53 years and daughter Arleigh, son and son-in-law Neil Caverley, sister in law Deborah, nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents and brothers Roland jr and Wayne. 

He was laid to rest at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery. Donations may be made to ACLU or the Shriners. 

You can see the full obituary and leave condolences at this link: