Tag Archives: “Fire alarm”

34th Williams A. Dwiggins Lecture

It’s already a week ago that I held a lecture at the Boston Public Library. It was the 34th. William A. Dwiggins Lecture. As lectures go, it wasn’t all that special (apart from it being a great honour to be asked to speak in front of all those dignified printers and historians), but it was the first time that I had a lecture interrupted by a fire alarm. I just had the first slide up (see small picture) when the alarm went off.


We actually all had to move out into the street. There was the usual display of emergency hardware (I always find that on those occasions in the US they really like to show everything they have) – big trucks with and without ladders, ambulances, patrol cars, dozens of firemen (who like to be called Firefighters these days) with helmets and axes – until it transpired that it had only been a malfunctioning microwave somewhere that caused all this fuss!

Nick Sherman had the presence of mind to film the moment when the alarm went off. He also took the little picture here that I just downloaded from his flickr site. I designed a poster and an invitation for the evening. The card is shown below.

I’ve also added a download for the pdf that was sent to the printers: dwiggins_sheet.pdf.