Fort-Hill Press

Registered20 Feb 08 (Unconfirmed)
ProprietorStephen O. Saxe
Record keeperStephen O. Saxe

Improved Golding Pearl 11, Vandercook SP-15, and about 500 fonts of 19th-century foundry type.

3 comments about this press

Hi Stephen…

I’ve acquired a Golding “Improved” Pearl No. 11 with a 7x11 chase size, but it doesn’t have any rollers, trucks or even old cores. So I need to order new rollers and trucks, but I don’t know the specs for them. Might you have roller specs, or know where I might find them for this type of press?

It’s a floor model with a throw off lever and takes 3 rollers, so I’ve identified it as an “Improved” model.
Rails are not worn much, so I think original roller specs would be fine.

Ramco Roller says roller specs for rollers and trucks can change, even with the same model, depending on when the press was manufactured. So I’m trying to determine the manufacture date and what the roller and truck specs are.

The serial number at the top center edge of the bed is #2094. But your Stephen O. Saxe article “A Brief History of Golding & Co.” implies that you can’t always determine manufacture date from a serial number, because serial numbers were sometimes sequential in a given year, then they might start over again the next year? So how do I determine the date of manufacture if not from a serial number?

Other clues to its age and manufacture:

It has a Pearl name plate on it, but the treadle has “CMC” on it, instead of “PEARL” so it might be a model that the Craftsmen Machinery Company (CMC) manufactured after Golding went out of business and CMC acquired the jigs and patterns in 1936 for the 7x11 Improved Pearl and started manufacturing them again.

Indications are from the literature that everything about the CMC Pearl presses was the same as those manufactured by Golding, except for the treadle plate. So I’m hopeful that the roller specs would also be the same as they would be for the original Golding Pearl just prior to Golding going out of business. But what I don’t know is the date of the jigs and patterns CMC acquired from Golding to know precisely. If they used the jigs and patterns from the last date of original manufacture by Golding, that would have been maybe around 1927, but I don’t know for sure.

Of course, I suppose another possibility is that the press was manufactured entirely by Golding, or assembled with left over Golding parts that might have been acquired with Golding’s closure, and just the treadle with “CMC” was added to it.

On the PearlRestore yahoogroup list website page, there are photos in the files by John Falstrom showing the differences between pre-1890 and post 1890 Pearl No. 11’s.

Mine seems to be a post 1890 model with a “tab” next to the tympan bale, no manufacture dates cast in the frame, and solid sides between the feet of the press as it sits on the base.

I’ve taken a few photos and can send them so you have a visual reference.

After reviewing everything, I’d like some “expert” feedback on your best guess as to age, and what the roller specs should be for this press.

Thanks in advance for any and all help you can offer…

— Steve

Steve Robison
Tahoe Letterpress
PO Box 550711
South Lake Tahoe, CA

I have three old rollers with good cores for a Pearl 7x11. I don’t have any trucks but if you are interested in the rollers I can send you photos and perhaps we can work something out.

Here is an old post that shows the cores