Guasp Printing Press (353 yrs in operation) - 1579 thru 1933
ANCIENT PRINTING PRESS STILL "SPREADING LIGHT" On the top floor of a house In Palma—capital of the Island of Ma- jodca, off the coast of Spain—the house of Ouasp, which calls itself the oldest publishing house in the world, Is printing books on the same sturdy press that the founder used 353 years ago. Built of solid timbers bolted together, the clumsy Ouasp machine can still produce excellent impressions. The excellence of the reproduction, however, depends considerably upon the strength of the man who operates the press. After bracing his feet strongly against Its side, he hauls the lever with all his strength and a heavy block creaks slowly down to cover the type. Beginning with the days when wooden type and wood cuts were used, ten generations of printers in the Guasp family have seen the printing industry develop Into the speedy process It is today, accelerated by typesetting machines and rotary presses. For, since its founding, the firm has always been headed by a member of the Guasp family in the direct male line. In 1579, when Gabriel Guasp branched out from the bookselling to the publishing business, Spain proudly dominated the world. Religious fervor 'was sweeping all Spain; hence the first books published by the press were on theological subjects.—New York Times.