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Costa Rican Letterpress

I never thought I’d be able to associate a country like Costa Rica with letterpress, but here it is: I (Chantal) went to Costa Rica for a week in August. I had one day to spend by myself in the capital, San José, so I decided to visit one of the few museums they have. As an aside, I don’t recommend spending more than a day in San José because it’s one of the worst cities I’ve visited. The rest of the country is beautiful, but San José is a dump.

As I was saying, I’d just paid the admission to the Museo del Oro (Gold Museum) and as I’m walking in, just sitting there in the foyer is a Heidelberg! My day had not been especially good up until then so this sight heartened me. Plus, I’d never seen a Heidelberg up close before.

Turns out the Costa Rican currency museum was also in the same building and the Heidelberg was used to print currency as late as the 1990s! It was regularly used until 1994 and then was used to print bills on special occasions. The last time it was used was in 2000. They even had the engraved plates that were used to print the different colours on the bills.

How awesome would it be to have special letterpressed currency?!

Here’s a photo I took of the Heidelberg; it’s not the best quality, but the light was very dim in the foyer.

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