Robert Oldham - Mover, Restorer and User of Antique Printing Presses
Since I established the Ad Lib Press in 1965 I have owned a number of unusual antique presses and I have collected some antique type and old printing cuts. I've hand-set and hand printed several books, done hand bookbinding and paper marbling, and taught those aspects of the book arts in workshops. I've also worked on the restoration of several antique hand presses, including one I used to own shown on the home page.

I've been interested in astronomy since I was 12. Currently, that interest is focused on astrophotography and timing asteroid occultations of stars to help determine the size and shape of the asteroids.

Since 1990 I have been interested in electric vehicles. I owned a converted electric Volkswagen Rabbit for a while and I have built an electric racing barstool. I drive a Honda Insight gas-electric hybrid.

I've had an amateur radio license since about 1994 and my particular focus has been Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES). I was the Emergency Coordinator for the county where I lived before moving to Costa Rica.

In 1999 I became interested in the archaeoastronomy of the prehistoric megalithic chamber structures of central Portugal, and I have made several trips there to measure and collect data on over 60 of those structures, which the Portuguese call "antas".

Some of my writing has been published. An article about Abraham Stansbury and his printing press, and another article about a portrait of a Philadelphia printer and his cylinder printing press, were published in The Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association. My paper summarizing my Portuguese archaeoastronomy studies was included in the published proceedings of an international conference on "The Origins and Development of Prehistoric Megalithic Monuments in Western Europe" held at Bougon, France in 2002. An article co-authored with a Belgian printing historian, titled "The Liberty Press, a press invented by Frederick Otto Degener", was published in The Journal of the Printing Historical Society in 2007.

I live and print in a house on the side of a volcano in Costa Rica, where I also volunteer with a small local foundation working to establish a museum about the lives of the pre-Columbian inhabitants of a nearby site that's now an archaeological National Monument.

Favorite LINKS:

A painless way to help the world's hungry people:

A place to see some really fun electric vehicles:

THE website for letterpress information:

The main Amateur Radio organization:

I recently retired from the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia, where I was part of the staff of the Ethyl Imax Dome Theater. I designed, built, and maintained special effects projectors, as well as the 45+ slide projectors, for planetarium shows, and I sometimes also operated the Imax movie projector or ran movies from the control console in the theater.

I've also worked in the Exhibits department at the Science Museum, designing and building hands-on interactive educational science exhibits, as well as repairing them when they got heavily used. Between that stint and the recent one I was the exhibit maintenance staff for the former Capital Children's Museum in Washington, DC.