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Aug 26, 2017

Lamplighter Ministries' Book Bindery ~ Field Trip Friday

I know!  I haven't even told you about our Steamtown trip yet!  But I really want to share this wonderful unplanned guided tour we experienced in Mount Morris, NY.  I didn't even know this was a thing until I saw this post on The Facebook.

The book bindery is smack dab in the middle between two sets of grandparents.  The folks at Lamplighter very graciously arranged to give us the guided tour within just a couple hours of contacting them.  We headed to the guild house and were met by Oscar, a very kind and patient young man, which is a huge plus with these three punks.  I don't know if you remember, but The Crew reviewed The Secret Bridge earlier this year.  As we walked in the front door, we saw a shelf of hundreds of Lamplighter volumes, and there was The Secret Bridge.  Merrick heard me mention it to Oscar and he shouted, "I didn't know you had a secret bridge!"  Well, there wasn't a real secret bridge, but little did we know, we were going to find out about another "secret."

{Click on any of these pictures to enlarge them!}

We headed toward the back of the lovely old "home" and passed an office where President Mark Hamby sat chatting with a couple of other employees.  Everyone was all smiles and so kind to greet us!  Back a bit farther, we met Peter, the marketing guy.  He and I had a nice chat about The Crew, The Secret Bridge, it's sister book (The Secret Cove), and reading books because our kids want to hear them.  :)  The punks were very curious, but were able to keep their bodies under control.

Next we headed back into shipping where Sarah was busy packaging up books.  Here were more books on shelves.

Then, just as it started to rain, we headed to the old church across the yard.  This is where all the action was.  I admit, I was surprised how small the room was, but it held so much!  Several large pieces of equipment, a few books in various stages of completion, and three lovely, friendly girls working busily.

I'm afraid I've forgotten the name of the girl who walked us through each phase of the book binding process.  First, she showed us the uncut book pages.  Four copies of the same page on each sheet and each book was separated by a yellow sheet of paper.  It was a HUGE stack.  The book title was actually *not* in the catalog we picked up while we were there.  Hmmm....
(ETA: It *is* on the website, though.)

Next we looked at the guillotine which chopped those stacks into four individual books.

We saw how the pages are glued together after being cut.  The machine that applied the glue was so fast I couldn't get a clear picture!

The empty covers were neat to see.  We folded one to see how it would work and noticed it was blank!  There were blue, red, and purple covers in the bindery that day.

The books are stamped for each color, so this was stamped once for black and once for the gold foil.  The spine and the front are done separately.

then the books are laid over the vertical piece in the photo below, coated with a glue, and placed inside the covers.

That's basically it, but it was quite fascinating to watch.  Especially since about half a dozen books in various stages of completion were in the room.

Now we know how the books are made with love and care, but there was more.  We stepped into a hallway and Oscar tried to ask a few questions, but the fans were pretty loud.  I wish we could have finished the conversation there, because once we moved on, it was a lot harder to keep their attention!

First, we walk in and see this amazing sanctuary.  "With books.  Scads of books!  Mountains of books!  Forests of books!  Cascades!"  So beautiful and wonderful.  While I'm agog at all the books, Merrick was quizzing Oscar about the pew kneelers!  We chatted with Oscar some more and I pointed out the gorgeous pipe organ.

That's when he showed us the secret.

Inside this organ, there is a recording studio!  Podcasts are recorded there.  Oscar "interviewed" the punks about their breakfast and told them, if they had been recording a podcast right then, there would be notes on the center table telling them important things like the nutritional information about their cereal and any other things they might need during the show.

Then we got to shop the sanctuary!  It really was overwhelming.  I'd heard of some of the stories available, but there were so many that were unfamiliar.  I was sure a couple of boys would choose Trusty the Train books, and they did!  I selected Teddy's Button on audio so we could listen in the car on the way back to Vermont.  Then I made the wise decision that I needed more help making the rest of my decisions!  Oscar asked some great questions to get a feel for what I was looking for and made some excellent suggestions.  Then it was just Xavier who hadn't chosen a book yet.  He told Oscar he wanted a book for BOYS, that was exciting, and in which no one died.

So, we made our selections and brought them back to Sarah in shipping who rang us up and sent us on our way.  It was a wonderful way to spend part of an afternoon.

Thank you so much, Lamplighter Ministries, Oscar, and everyone else at the book bindery.  You may have an intern from this house in your house someday!

"Scads of books!  Mountains of books!  Forests of books!  Cascades!"
~ Cogsworth and Lumiere ~


Kym Thorpe said...

Wow, the field trip of every book lover's dreams!! Thanks for sharing your pictures!


That is the field trip of my dreams. We have been Lamplighter fans since we went to our very first homeschool convention in North Carolina 11 years ago. I can see I am going to have to get my husband to make a side trip there.

Carol said...

That ia super awesome! :)