Tucked within the pristine, well stacked shelves of the Kansas Government Information Online Library (Who wouldn't love a library with tidy shelves that never have to be dusted?) is a small, digitized booklet published in 1915 by the Kansas State Printer, "The Kansas Printing Plant, 1915."
This booklet is 22 pages of photographs, history and statistics on the plant where thousands of Kansas state government publications were produced for distribution by executive, legislative and judicial agencies. The 1915 publication is a promotional booklet describing the modern set up of the plant and its service in providing state government material to the public. Also touted within the booklet is the publication of Kansas school books, an innovation state government had just recently passed. As stated on page 16:
"Kansas began printing its text books a year ago, in the face of most bitter opposition from the eastern book concerns, who have used every weapon at their command to defeat the project. Despite all this, the work has gone steadily on, and the great decrease in the price of books, sold by the State to retailers at cost, is proof enough that the proposition has been a paying investment to the taxpayers of Kansas."
Located at the corner of 10th and Jackson Streets in Topeka the building was heavily damaged by the 1966 tornado. A new printing facility was built in the mid 1970s in Topeka at 201 NW MacVicar Ave when the elected office of Kansas State Printer was abolished and the Division of Printing was created under the Kansas Department of Administration.
You can view this booklet at:
The Kansas State Printing Plant, Topeka, 1915
Other material in the State Library of Kansas' KGI Online Library can be viewed here:
Printer, State ... of Kansas
You can view a few other photos of the Kansas State Printing Plant provided by the Kansas Historical Society's KANSAS MEMORY website here:
Employees of the Kansas State Printing Plant (1922)
Tornado damage to the Printing Plant (1966)
The Making of a Textbook, Kansas State Printer
(Silent film produced in the 1930s or 40s showing the production of a geography textbook)
Our thanks to the Kansas Historical Society for the loan of the book for digitization featured in this blog article