Briar Press

Dedicated to the preservation of letterpress-era equipment and the art of fine printing, Briar Press is an outstanding online resource for letterpress enthusiasts. In 2012, Briar Press transferred its extensive online archive of letterpress equipment to Letterpress Commons, so that it may continue to flourish in the hands of the letterpress community.

Briar Press has been a major contributor to the following articles:

Golding Jobber

“William Golding of Boston set up shop as a printer’s supply house in 1869 and soon graduated to the manufacture of seals, then small amateur presses, and finally full-sized jobbing presses. Golding first manufactured his Jobber in 1880, eleven years after he introduced the simpler, popular Pearl press (see Pearl … Continue reading

Wesel 14×18

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Wesel

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Weiler

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Unknown No.2

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Hohner Hobo

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Boston Teigel

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Thomson Laureate

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Standing Press

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Rosback Foot Power Perforator

Frederick Peter Rosback was a machinist and inventor. In 1881 he started the Rosback Company in Chicago with the invention of a foot-powered tool for the bindery that could perforate paper with small metal pins. It was used to create paper that could tear easily such as stock certificates, stamps, … Continue reading

Reliance

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Potter Proof Press

Potter presses have reciprocating beds and stationary carriages. Some later models have paper grippers and ink rollers. Manufactured by A.F. Wanner until 1914 when the company was renamed the Horace Hacker Co. In 1931 Challenge Machinery acquired the Poco and Potter brands. The 1935 ATF Machinery Catalog shows “Challenge-Potter” presses. … Continue reading

Poco Proof Press No. 0

A.F. Wanner Co. manufactures Potter and Poco proof presses, which feature reciprocating beds and stationary carriages.

Pearl OS No.3

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Pearl OS No.14

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Pearl No.1

William Hughson Golding ran a printer’s supply company in Boston from 1869. Like J.F.W. Dorman (maker of the Baltimore 11), he soon graduated from making labels, rubber stamps, and seals to manufacturing printing presses for amateurs. His first of these was the Pearl, which was invented and patented by William … Continue reading

Old Reliable

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Official No.12

Golding manufactured three models termed “Map” presses in the tabletop Official line.  They were called map presses because they were primarily used to print the corner block on maps and blueprint sheets.  These presses are also called stationary platen presses.  The bed moves down to the platen rather than the … Continue reading

Official Junior

The Junior was the smallest of the Official line with a chase size of 2″ x 3″.

Nonpareil No.24

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Nonpareil No.23

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Nonpareil No.22

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Nonpareil Job Press

The Nonpareil job press was a product of the Cincinnati Type Foundry and Printers Warehouse between the late 1860s and the mid-1890s when CTF was merged into the American Type Founders (ATF). The press was probably designed by the skillful engineer Henry Barth, who also designed the Barth type caster used … Continue reading

Nolan Standard

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Monumental No.1

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Mini Press

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Miles’ Nervine

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Maryland

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Little Model

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Linen Stamp

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Lightning Jobber

The Lightning platen job press was invented in about 1896 by John M. Jones, of Palmyra, New York. It was manufactured for five years by the first of the five companies Jones established in Palmyra between 1867 and 1901. In 1901, another of Jones’s companies, Jones-Gordon Press Works, took over the … Continue reading

Liberty No.4

The Liberty platen job press was invented by Frederick Otto Degener of New York City, and patented by him in 1859 and 1860. Degener had worked for George P. Gordon as a draftsman, and left Gordon’s employment to develop, manufacture, and market the Liberty press. Initially the Liberty was offered … Continue reading

Kelsey Victor

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Kelsey Union Rotary Job Press

The Kelsey Union press was a larger size press (11″x14″ chase) with quite a few features missing on the Star model. The latching throw-off lever on the left side of the platen allowed for quick action to go from impression to off-impression as it was tied to an eccentric shaft … Continue reading

Jewel

The Jewel platen jobber was invented in around 1881 by John M. Jones, of Palmyra, New York. It was manufactured for eight years by the second of the five companies Jones established in Palmyra between 1867 and 1901. In 1889, another of Jones’s companies, Johnson-Peerless Press Works, took over the manufacture of … Continue reading

Ideal No.3

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Grauel

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Golding Official Imprinter

The Golding Official Imprinter is based on a No. 12 “Map” press with the addition of a flywheel.  Very few presses of this design were manufactured. The press shown was used to print clothing labels and other cloth items such as canvas bags.  Power was supplied from a direct drive variable speed motor.  … Continue reading

Golding Jobber No.7

The Jobber No. 7 has a chase size of 10″ x 15″ and many features for the professional printer. One of the more unusual features (found on all Jobbers) was the platen adjusting system. It worked on a system of wedges rather than the impression bolts found on most presses. The system allows … Continue reading

Golding Jobber No.18

The Golding Jobber No. 18 was one of two presses in the Art Series and is the second largest Golding ever made. It has the same 12 x 18 chase size as the No. 8, but, the press is built much heavier. This example was manufactured near the end of the … Continue reading

German Press

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Firefly

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Favorite

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Excelsior 11×16

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Enterprise

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Cutter, German

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Cropperette No.1

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Common Press

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CMC Supreme

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Clipper

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Chicago No.9

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Charm

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Challenge

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Boston No.1

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Bonanza

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Baltimorean B

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Baltimore No. 6

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Baltimore 13

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Baby Reliance

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Asbern Proof Press

Made in Ausburg, West Germany in the 1960s and 70s, Asbern presses have a fixed bed and rolling carriage. They feature a dial for incremental height cylinder adjustment to change the impression and a lever for manual cylinder trip mid print stroke. Three models were imported into the U.S. by … Continue reading

American No. 8

Manufactured by Deneger & Weiler in New York City in the 1870’s, the American No. 8 works on the same engineering principal as the C & P Pilot and has a chase size of 8″ x 12″.

Adana Automatic

Alan Brignull: The Ajax company, a likely competitor to Adana (see Adana Five-Three), was based in Southend-on-Sea, Essex. The Ajax No. 1, the sister of the flatbed pictured, had an even smaller chase size than the No.2: 5 1/2 x 3 1/8″. There were also two sizes of platen presses … Continue reading

Adana 45

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Acme No. 11

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Wells

John I. Wells (1769-1832), was born in East Hartford, Connecticut where he later returned to set up his own business. He made furniture and mattresses before becoming a supplier of high-quality printers ink. To aid in his ink business, Wells devised and patented a press with a lever toggle joint, … Continue reading

Washington

The Washington Press was by far the most popular iron hand press in America, a position it held from the 1820s until the end of the hand press era. The press was invented during the 1820s by Samuel Rust, a New York printer nearly unknown today. Rust’s patent of 1821 … Continue reading

Victory

“The Craftsmen Machinery Company of Boston, Massachusetts, manufactured several tabletop lever presses and at least one floor-model platen jobber. One press in their tabletop line, the Superior, is almost identical to the C&P Pilot except that its chase width is 6 1/2″” instead of 6″”. The C.M.C. Jobber, Craftsmen’s floor … Continue reading