IN THE RETRO-futuristic, post-apocalyptic world of the Fallout series, legible printed matter is a rare and valuable commodity. Finding an intact magazine or comic book gives valuable stats and perks, from increased know-how with machines to improved conversation skills to unlockable tattoos. Presumably, most books and magazines were far too delicate to survive the nuclear apocalypse, appearing as the junk-class items “burnt book” and “burnt trade magazine” (though the high-Nordic-fantasy world of Skyrim, also from Bethesda, certainly has its share of “Ruined Books” as well).
The Lone Survivor can also find copies of the pre-war Boston Bugle throughout the wasteland, which are surprisingly intact. Stacks of pre-apocalypse paper money, too, worthless though they may be due to societal collapse, are nonetheless a testament to the archival quality of the intaglio process through which they are produced.
And it’s not just print that’s hearty enough to survive nuclear armageddon, but printing presses as well. Here’s the press inside Publick Occurrences inside Diamond City (AKA Fenway Park), which still sees active use in the post-apocalypse:
The platen press at Publick Occurrences in Diamond City.
It’s a surprisingly faithful recreation of a Chandler and Price platen press, likely from the early 20th century:
Chandler and Price 10X15 New Style Printing Press. Photo by Trimalchio, licensed via Creative Commons
The active Fallout modding community has not neglected the game’s platen presses either – here’s a shot of the pressroom within a Publick Occurrences “satellite office” created in Sanctuary Hills. The presses themselves were crafted from salvaged materials via the Craftable Printing Press mod:
Imgur user LeveyMathway added a press to the main building of The Slog, the tarberry farm created from a former swimming pool by a group of crafty ghouls, whose craft apparently extends to printing:
LeveyMathway via Imgur
And finally, Skyrim modders, not to be left out, have created a printing press mod of their own, though it’s modeled after the perhaps more milieu-appropriate Gutenberg-style hand press:
If the fan theory that Skyrim takes place after Fallout is really true, this either means a cyclical rebirth of movable type and the handpress era has occurred, or some presses truly are indestructible.