The year 1926 marked the semi-centennial of the National
organization and great preparations were made to celebrate the
anniversary. On July 3, the first day of the convention, the
Fossils commemorated the survivors of the founding with a dinner
at the Poor Richard Club, attended by forty amateurs, including
ten who were there in 1876. They were: James M. Beck, J. Edson
Briggs, James F. Duharnel, J. Austin Fynes, Charles C. Heuman,
John Hosey, James D. Lee, Evan Reed Riale, Robert W. Smiley
and Will W. Winslow.
But the NAPA was in bad shape. The hobby of amateur journalism is
one that needs the warmth of companionship. In normal times,
little licking flames sprout from the coals of old enthusiasms
and of enthusiasms not yet fully ignited. In the varied years
there were periods when the flames burned fiercely-but there have
also been periods when the gray ashes covered the coals and the
fire seemed out.
There was such a time from 1926 to 1928 when Louis C. Wills paid
for the National Amateur, and the typo-strewn Tryout was the only
regular journal. President Jacob Moidel had only one ambition:
not to let the NAPA die on his hands in its 52nd year.
Only four persons attended the 1928 Niagara Falls convention. The
next year was not encouraging, but in Boston (1930), the
Haggerty-Smith alliance invested $276 in a recruiting program
that netted 23 printers and 200 alumni members.
On November 22, 193l, the Amateur Printers Club was formed by
Haggerty, George Andersen, Walter Stevenson and George Trainer.
Shortly after Harold Segal, Ernest Pittaro and Ralph Babcock
joined the informal club, all active printer-editors. In five
years the NAPA had climbed from the depths. Niagara Falls, 1928,
had four attendees; New York, 1933, had more than I 00. From July
1933 to January 1934, 235 issues of 70 papers had appeared.