Hatch Show Letterpress is the oldest print shop in America. It was started by the Hatch family in 1879 in Wisconsin. The 2 sons of Mr. Hatch grew up learning about the letterpress and in 1875 the two of them moved to Nashville. 4 years later, they founded “CR & HH Hatch.” This was the beginning of a classic, American, piece of art. The first print job they ever did was for Rev. Henry Ward Beacher, brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe who was coming to Nashville for a speaking engagement.
The golden age of the letterpress was in the mid-20s when show business was booming. Entertainment was a way of life and there was no better way to advertise than a letterpress print! Show posters created excitement! They could be found everywhere, covering barns, windows, and buildings throughout the city. Some of the very first prints were for famous musicians such as, Duke Ellington, Elvis Presley, and Etta James. The press was also made popular by the rise of Country Music. The posters produced inside the shop have featured country music performers ranging from Hank Williams, Bill Monroe and Johnny Cash to Garth Brooks, Wynonna Judd and Shania Twain.
Hatch Show is such a unique letterpress because it runs exactly the same as it did in the beginning. Each print is hand cranked, inked, trimmed, and shipped. All letter blocks are wonderfully, hand- carved and kept alive by keeping them covered in ink. Jim Sherradon, manager of Hatch Show, always says, “Preservation by Production.” That is the motto of Hatch Show and the reason for their authenticity and charm. Check out the shop located in downtown Nashville. You won’t regret it!