Anyone remember the CE Kelly press?

Many years ago I operated one of these,and I wonder if anyone else has knowledge of them. They were made under licence in the UK by Vickers Armstrong, and I believe it originated in the states and was made by American Type Founders. It was a 2rev machine with a sheet size of 18 x 24, capable of 4,500 iph, with a deep pile delivery, pre-loadable feeder, and the ability when set-up correctly to double roll inking. This was very intriguing to watch when in operation,
I will always remember it as one of the noisiest brutes I have ever worked,as the air valves worked at the end of each stroke.
Anyone any memories of these?

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I don’t know if the CE is like the C model but we had two of them here for quite a few years. I’ve been told they had to take out the windows on the second floor to get them in. They were finally taken out as no one could run them. They had wooden platforms so the operators could reach over to make adjustments etc. I am way too short too handle them and the gates were pretty heavy just to lift.They had the swinging delivery table. It took forever to bust them up to take small parts down on the elevator. They were trying to break the base in half and it was propped up in the middle with some of us standing on one side and some on the other side. When it finally snapped in half it sounded like a shot gun going off! When the weather was cold the oil was thick and it took a few tries to get them going.

Hi Ron!
I think they were probably the same press and the “E” in the CE denoted they were made in England.
They did have the swing-out delivery, which could hold a pile about four feet high if I remember correctly.
I know they required quite a lot of skill and patience to set up, but once you had it right they would run all day long.
P.S. Did you get my email about the lay gauges?

I did get your message and in fact just got through sending a reply……. We had a guy who was from the “old school” in printing running the Kellys, and when he retired another man took them over until he passed away. But you’re right, they would just keep on running. I believe one of ours must have been on a different electrical setup as far as the motor. It would take a while to get it going in colder weather. Do you know if the cylinders at the end of the bed had springs or was it air being compressed that assisted the sliding part to start going the opposite direction? I always thought it sounded more like air, but was never sure.

Yes Ron, the cylinders at both ends of the main frame were there to compress the air and give a cushioning effect. Beneath the bed ,at each end were two cup-shaped leather buffers,which could be adjusted to give variable compression. These needed to be lubricated regularly with NeatsFoot oil to maintain their elasticity, otherwise they would become hard and useless. As you can well appreciate that bed with a full forme of metal type took some stopping when printing around 4500iph.

I remember being told about a guy who started one of the Kellys up but apparently forgot to lock the chase down. Lucky, there wasn’t anyone standing at the end! He didn’t say a word, just got his coat and left. You could always tell the Kellys were running by the “whooshing” sound.

Forgot to mention that it was amazing to me that as heavy as the cylinder was that it was lifted up on each pass. We found out how heavy they were when we took them apart. We had chain hoists hooked to the next floor just to lift them!

I ran one of these circ 1959-60 I did a lot of 4col process on it. registration was not the best,impession was a bit weak, so was the rolling but it had a damn good feeder.buffer air pressure was adjusted via a valve while the press was the best of my knowledge there was only two in leicester at that time and i ran them both. one was at nutt& stevens, the other at wintertons in humberstone gate.

Hi, Bern and others…
I ran a C-Kelly at Dempsey and Campbell in Portland, OR during the 80’s. We used it with wood type for strike banners and ran some health care and union contract booklets on it, composed in Linotype. I also remember some receipt books. numbered with skip-8’s and perfed on perf-a-base strips glued to the packing. Before that, I worked on two Kelly No. 2’s (I think they were)—36” cylinders. Mostly scoring on those.
I’ve got fond memories of these presses.

Regards and Happy New Year to all, Brian

Here’s a Kelly No. 2 in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

image: 11_6_08_dustin_yellen_65.jpg

Hey there… The above picture in red hook brooklyn is my press… It has been converted to a dye-cutter and was recently used to cut t-shirt tags for a movie. .. However, I wanted to change it back to a printer. If anyone has any expertise about this, or know where I could find someone I would really appreciate the help,

best, Charlotte

We have a 17.5 x 23 with Serial# 301 295. Can anyone tell us what year it was made? It’s for sale as listed in our classified…
I still can’t post a picture, but if you know about it and need a picture to answer the question, please give me your e-mail!