The Free Print Shop
A Project of the Sutter Street Commune (August 1968 to Forever)
In the spring of 1968 at one of the Free City noontime gatherings on
City Hall steps, two of the Diggers took a member of the Sutter Street
commune aside and suggested he should bring the printing press which he
had left in New York to San Francisco and set up a free print shop. The full story
is told in Deep Tried Frees.
This is the first attempt to present the collection of Free Print
Shop publications that
were printed between 1968 and 1978. There are large gaps in the set of
printouts that have survived. Nevertheless, historians will find this a valuable
resource into the sense of community and mutual aid that the
counterculture in San Francisco represented in these years.
Ultimately, the hope is to develop a more focused format for key items in this collection. But
for now, click on any of the images to view a high-resolution version.
Then click again to return to the gallery of thumbnail images.
The thumbnails are presented in the order of publication. The
individually numbered items correspond to the
catalog that was prepared for the set that was donated to the
California Historical Society in 1973. Later items are labeled with
their publication date (where known).
The announcement (see right panel) reads:
The Sutter Street Commune invites you to submit manuscripts,
drawings, manifestoes to our Free Print Shop. Free distribution
guaranteed for whatever we print. In care of the Sign of the Fool.
Announcement of the opening of the Free Print Shop, August 18, 1968.
[The items showcased herein do not include individual issues of Kaliflower, which the Free Print Shop