Preserving Queanbeyan's hot metal printing skills and machinery, the museum gives a nostalgic journey into the past, centred on the inception of “The Queanbeyan Age” in 1860 through to the mid-1970s, when letterpress printing in Queanbeyan was superseded by electronics and computerised typesetting.
John Gale started using a Columbia hand press in September 1860. Hot metal printing ended with the retirement of Linotype machines in 1983.
The museum features 12 main sections from hand-set type, through hot-metal production, (including a model 14 Lintotype), to a variety of printing presses such as Wharfedale hand-fed press, various platens, proof presses and a Meihle automatic commercial printing press. A complete photographic darkroom is also featured.
The encased static displays include tools of trade and memorabilia of a bygone age of the printing profession. There are also numerous photographs and reproductions of “ Age ” front pages on display.
All machines have been restored to operational mode.