The Edible Printing Press

Participants can print something on the amazing Jell-O printing press that we call "Jell-o journalism". It's a working hectograph that people can pull prints from.

Sometime after aniline dyes were invented in 1870, some kitchen Gutenberg discovered it was possible to print using a tray of gelatin very similar to the stuff you probably thought was so delectable when you were six years old.

During WW II British POWs plotting to break out of the Colditz Castle prison melted their gelatin desserts and copied escape maps. What they made was a hectograph, from Gr. Hecaton. Hecto means a hundred, the number of copies that can be produced by this method, plus or minus a hundred per cent.

The first emergency money used instead of legal payment appeared in Germany in 1914. It was needed for payments of the soldiers and was produced by the hectograph method. In 1922 a law was passed forbidding the emergency money; however by 1923 inflation saw the issue of 70,000 notes. The money had no control numbers and one handwritten signature.

It has been used throughout history by missionaries, revolutionaries, artists, children and science fiction fans.