The Thorniley Collection

The Thorniley Collection is an amazing collection of antique wood and metal type and printing equipment collected by Bill Thorniley during the middle of the twentieth century. The collection is now owned by WCP Solutions, formerly West Coast Paper.

Located off the lobby of an industrial building in Kent Washington, visits to the collection are by appointment only. I had the privilege of accompanying fellow printer, and friend of the Thorniley Collection, Carl Montford. What follows is just a sample of what is on display.

They have an impressive collection of rare wood type:

The wood type is impressive, but what amazed me was the collection of 19th century metal type. Cabinet after cabinet of type with curlicues, and fancy flourish ornaments.

Not only did they have interesting fonts, but they had runs of them with complete sets of point sizes.

We also saw sets of initial letters in beautiful condition and beautiful collections of copper cuts.

There were interesting tools to set type in curves and fun tools of the trade in original vintage packaging.

Somehow I never got a photo of the large room overall. Over 50 type cabinets, some cases on display under plexiglass. Also quite an assortment of vintage printing press and binding equipment. It was a fun and overwhelming afternoon of printer catnip!

The Thorniley Collection is a northwest treasure and every printer in the Pacific Northwest should have a chance and make the opportunity to see the collection.