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[BKARTS] Curtiss Show Print collection press release

The Curtiss Show Print collection by Nyle and Helen Stateler, a remarkable compilation documenting the beautiful letterpress work done by the company for their show business clients, has been donated to the Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute of The Ohio State University Libraries and College of the Arts.

The collection contains not only the wonderful materials printed by Curtiss Show Print, including posters, window cards, heralds, tickets, ads, letterhead stationery, and other materials, but also printing blocks and work orders.  These pieces provide incredible opportunities to explore not only the work of the show printer, but also the history and legacy of tent shows, vaudeville companies, minstrel shows, circuses, and other traveling companies in the early to mid 20th century.  

Nyle and Curtiss Show Print were the subject of a recent award-winning documentary, Continental, Ohio, produced by Murphy & Associates. Inc., and WOSU-TV.   Continental, Ohio, received the 2005 Midwestern Regional Emmy Award for a documentary program.

The Curtiss Show Print began in Kalida, Ohio, in 1905, but founder Bill Curtiss moved his printing business to nearby Continental, Ohio, to take advantage of its location and access to the railroad.   The shop specialized in turning orders around very quickly, and gained a reputation among its show business clients for fast and excellent work.  

Nyle Stateler took a job at Curtiss Show Print in 1941 learning to do setup, layout and printing.  With a brief hiatus for military service during World War II, he has spent his entire career working at, and later owning, Curtiss Show Print.   He keeps all the presses, including a linotype machine, running and busy.   While the show print business has slowed down, Nyle and Helen Stateler have not.  In addition to a wide variety of printing work, they continue to publish The Continental News-Review, a weekly newspaper started by Curtiss when he moved from Kalida to Continental.   The News-Review has been in publication since 1919 except for the time Nyle was in the Army and Curtiss was without a linotype operator.

The Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute, jointly administered by The Ohio State University Libraries and Department of Theatre, collects, preserves, maintains, and makes accessible research materials in the performing arts.  

For further information, please call 614-292-6614.

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