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Bristol press and Vermont silk screen company collection

Identifier: C-167

Scope and Contents

The collection includes silk screen posters printed by the Vermont Silk Screen Company for Middlebury College events, including plays, conferences and Winter Carnival. There are also business records (invoices) for the Bristol Press and Vermont Silk Screen Company pertaining to Middlebury jobs, including the printed items in the collection.


  • Creation: 1938-1986

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish materials, contact: Special Collections & Archives Middlebury College Phone: (802) 443-2387 Email:

Biographical / Historical

From the "History of Bristol, Vermont 1762-1980 (3rd edition):

'After leaving the "Bristol Herald", Donald J. Wilson started his commercial printing business, The Bristol Press, in 1935. It was located in the rear of Way's Hardware Store on the south side of Main Street, the present location of Thomas Sporting Goods.

In 1938, Wilson moved the business to his home at 58 Maple Street, Bristol, Vermont. Son, Donald E. Wilson, joined his father in business in 1945 and represented the fourth generation of the printing family. They modernized the printing plant, added automatic machinery and additional buildings.

In 1953, a silk screen plant, "Vermont Silk Screen Company", was added.

Lyndon "Lyn" Fish came to work for the Wilsons in May 1955. At that time, the Wilsons were operating two separate businesses: The Bristol Press under Donald J. Wilson, and Vermont Silk Screen Company under Donald E. Wilson. The businesses were incorporated on January 5, 1959 under the name "Bristol Press and Vt. Silk Screen, Inc."

Mr. Fish, having studied at the School of Practical Art in Boston, MA, started out in the silk screen business under Donald E. Wilson (deceased July 1961) and Jack Wendel.

After the death of Donald J. Wilson in January 1963, the corporation was dissolved on August 5, 1963. Mr. Fish leased the business for two yaers until his purchase of the same in 1965 from Anna Wilson, widow of Donald J. Wilson.

Since more letterpress and offset work was being done, the silk screen business was discontinued in 1966 due to limited space, expense ad general economics. The name of the business reverted to it original name, The Bristol Press.

Patrick Little and Charles Hanson worked full time for Fish when Fish first purchased the business. Laura Rathburn worked eight years for Fish.

Since 1978 when Mr. Little retired, Lyndon Fish and his wife, Jacqueline have operated the business with part-time help.

The Bristol Press was known for letterpress and offset printing work, all done onsite at 58 Maple Street. According to Gary Lyons, who married Lyndon Fish's daughter, Debbie, donor of the collection, the letterpress printing business had operated in a number of different locations in Bristol until the Wilsons expanded their home in the late 1950s.


1 Posters


Collection is arranged into three series: silk screen posters, print job files, and awards, proofs, and miscellaneous materials.

Physical Location

Silk screen posters located in small flat case, drawer 10

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gary Lyons delivered the posters and pertinent financial records of the Bristol Press and Vermont Silkscreen collection on September 5, 2018. The gift is from Gary and wife Debbie Fish Lyons.

Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives Repository

Middlebury College
Davis Family Library
110 Storrs Avenue
Middlebury Vermont 05753 United States