Globe Poster: An Illustrated History Of American Music

By Leah Scarpelli (, 4/10/2011)

Whirring sounds of an old Heidelberg Windmill letterpress echo in the warehouse of Globe Poster in East Baltimore. Owner Bob Cicero explains how the machine works.

“The suckers on the top actually suck the paper, creating a vacuum, and then actually lifts the papers up, puts it in these grippers,” he says. “These grippers will come around, and if you take a look, you have what you’re going to print right here…”

The machine is out of date, but it’s just one item in the giant warehouse testifying to Globe’s 80 years in business.

“And then all you do, it comes in and now I put the impression on by moving this bar out,” Cicero continues. “And now, she’ll print.”

Cicero is printing with a block of type that reads “Special Ladies Dance.” He’s a master printer who knows his trade, and he should — he’s worked for Globe Poster since 1965. Cicero is the youngest of three brothers who own the company now. His father, Joseph, Sr., bought it in the mid-’70s after working there for 40 years.

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