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 manufacture of the Lightning, but apparently manufacture of the press was discontinued in about 1903.
Most of the 12 or 13 platen job presses Jones invented and manufactured are relatively simple treadle-powered clamshell-style presses, and the Lightning is one of these. It is not known how many sizes, if more than one, were offered. Not many examples of the Lightning jobber are known to have survived.