This printing frame is an antique which is similar to printing frames used over 500 years ago in the first Printing Revolution.
During the first Printing Revolution Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. Each letter (or 'type') was a piece of wood or metal as shown in the frame.
Fifty years ago the metal lead used in printing presses became very expensive. This contributed, amongst other reasons, to Printers starting to use a complicated technique called phototypesetting. Colin R. Barber (Isabelle, Florence and Nathaniel's Grandpa) became the next link in the history of printing as an engineer who started trying trying to control how the type was laid out using computers. He wrote computer programs to control which letter went onto the film and in which order. He produced the first ever novel made by computer in this way, the Millstone by Margaret Drabble. He went on to use similar techniques to produce many books.
So the frame is important to our family as it represents the first Printing Revolution. It is also a precursor to what many see precursor to what many see as the Second Printing Revolution, the advent of computer typesetting, pioneered by Colin R Barber.