Articles about Floor Model Platens

Alert Rotary

S.O. Saxe writes, “This is the only surviving Alert press I know of.” It was made in Boston between 1877 and 1889 by Gorham & Co., which made various small presses.

Card & Billhead

There are less than six known surviving printing presses made by the Boston inventor and press maker Stephen P. Ruggles (1808-1880). Ruggles patented his Card & Billhead press in 1851. (No relation to the Card & Billhead made by Boston & Fairhaven Iron Works in 1871.) It was one of … Continue reading

Chandler & Price Oldstyle

In 1886, William T. Price, a mechanic, and Harrison T. Chandler, an investor, formed a company in Cleveland, Ohio for the production of presses based on Gordon’s old-style Franklin Jobber. The oldstyle C&P shown, built in 1911, is very similar in design to the Gordon Franklin, as is the 8×12 … Continue reading

Clipper

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Colts Armory

The story of the Colts Armory Press begins with Merritt Galley, a press maker in New York. In 1869 Galley patented his Universal Press, the predecessor of the Colts Armory press. The Universal was manufactured at the Colt’s Firearm Company of Hartford, Connecticut, maker of the eponymous Revolver and known … Continue reading

Cropperette No.1

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Damon & Peets 6×10

The D&P 6×10, or “Favorite,” was sold by Damon & Peets Company, a printing equipment concern of New York, between 1887 and 1894 Simple clamshell jobbers like this one–on which platen and bed were hinged below their lower edges to close on each other in clamshell fashion–were distributed by dealers, … Continue reading

Damon & Peets 8×12

The Damon & Peets Company of New York sold several presses in the late 1800s and early 1900s. An 8×12 press similar to this one is pictured in a 1904 D&P catalog, which claims the press is capable of completing a run of 2000 sheets per hour. The press takes … Continue reading

Excelsior 11×16

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Firefly

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German Press

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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

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

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

Gordon Franklin Oldstyle

In 1851, George Phineas Gordon, a New Yorker, patented the first of his platen jobbers, whose now-familiar design formed the basis of almost every floor-model platen jobber to follow. Gordon’s jobbers soon replaced those designed after the Ruggles Card & Billhead, an early platen jobber and the first with a … Continue reading

Heidelberg Tiegel (Platen) aka Windmill

Once the workhorse of print shops all across the world, the Heidelberg company’s definitive fully automatic platen press is universally loved and revered for its robustness, longevity and reliability. It’s also fascinating  to watch and listen to as the big air pump sucks up paper and blows printed copy onto … 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

Kelsey Star

William Kelsey became famous for his Excelsior line of amateur presses (see the Excelsior 3×5 for more about Kelsey), but the Kelsey Company did manufacture a few jobbing presses like the Star, which was in fact invented by George W. Prouty in 1870 (see also the Prouty Press). The Kelsey … Continue reading

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

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

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

Mini Press

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Monumental No.1

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Nonpareil Job Press

Manufactured by the Cincinnati Type Foundry between 1868 and 1885. The Cincinnati Type Foundry produced both an early style and late style Nonpareil press in multiple sizes beginning in 1868. It used a double action fixed bed mechanism and was first to feature a throw-off lever. Both early and late … Continue reading

Old Reliable

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Pearl Improved No. 11

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. (More at Pearl OS No.1). The Pearl remains today one of the most popular presses for amateur letterpress printing. … Continue reading

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

Pearl OS No.3

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Perfected Prouty

This Perfected Prouty, invented by George W. Prouty, was manufactured by the Boston Printing Press M’F’G’ Co. of Boston, Massachusetts. The patent dates on this press are from April 1886 to August 1888.

Prouty

George W. Prouty manufactured his presses in Boston between 1878 and 1926.

Samson No.2 Oldstyle

Joseph Watson began manufacturing the Samson press in 1885 in New York. The No.2 pictured is an Oldstyle model, which was followed in 1895 by an Improved model. The Improved, which included an impression throw-off, was made in two different grades, the first and better of these having more steel … Continue reading

Thomson Laureate

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