6x9 Kelsey-Victor Clone of C&P Pilot

Does anyone have any experience printing with the 6x9 Kelsey-Victor that was mfd. only up until WWII so it’s not in the Kelsey post-war catalog. Not to be confused with the post -war Kelsey-Victor which used a front hinge mechanism and a side lever.

See Briar Press picture attached for identification.

This press has TWO side arms similar to the C&P Pilot and Young America and the side lever (mounts either side of press) and appears to be a “balanced design” based on a test “pull” or two on the lever.

As you can see from the attached, the roller tracks extend all the way up to the top of the ink table.

Does this press have any unusual quirks? How well does it print? Is it as easy to “pull” as it appears to be?

Does anyone have one for sale or parts for restoration?

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PointFive….. I used to have one just like that. It’s a nice smooth design, and printed well. The mechanics are a little different than the C&P or Craftsmen, but in use you will probably never feel it. They are so similar in their characteristics that you can more or less consider them to be equals.

I am lucky enough to have landed myself a Kelsey Victor 6x9, which is undergoing a complete restoration by Lou in Rhode Island. The press should be ready in a few weeks and I am ecstatic! He has been sending updated photos of the restoration process, especially of the restored/refinished body/roller tracks, platen, and side arm lever. When I get the press and run some prints on it, I’ll post again on its use.

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Were you the lucky winner of the recent eBay auction of a Cooks-Victor that was located in BelleVernon, PA? That press lacked an ink table, no bracket to hold the ink table, had a broken left roller carriage etc.? Still, it was a genuine Victor. Maybe for parts. I have recently had the pleasure of handling a “like-new” Kelsey-Victor 6x9 and it was indeed a pleasure. Nothing like the other Kelsey’s I’ve owned or operated. The printed results were comparable to the best quality printing with very even and solid ink coverage.

Of all the Kelsey’s made, your Victor is the second best. It is a GREAT machine. I’ve owned two of them through the years and could kick myself for selling them. Mine were smooth as silk.

They are not Pilot clones, though. They are a different design altogether, and in my opinion are a little better.

The only Kelsey that was nicer was the 7 x 10 Kelsey Star…. another beauty that I wish I still had. Unfortunately it was a “sell the press or face starvation” type situation…. so it had to go.

That look great

As a follow-up to my earlier post, I finally had some time to picked up my restored 6x9 Victor from Lou’s in Rhode Island last weekend! Lou is exceptionally helpful and was great at showing me how he restores the presses. I am in the process of building my wooden bench from scratch [nothing a couple of 2x4’s and 4x4’s can’t handle!… I am an engineer by trade]. I already received my BoxCar base and the remainder of my supplies should be trickling in this coming week (ink-in-tubes from Dave!).

I will post again when I get the chance to play with it. For now, I have been examining the machine and getting to know how each part works (can’t run away from the engineer in me). Here is a photo of the finished press!

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That is beautiful. Wow. Enjoy!

That was indeed the broken-armed Victor that was missing an ink table. Lou cast a brand new ink table and flawlessly repaired the roller arm. This press is now back into operation and should be printing for the *next* 100 years!

In our collection at The Excelsior Press, we three very different “Victor” Presses.

One is a 4x6, stamped as manufactured by “The Victor Company”. Boston, Mass. (This press was sold as the “Victory” model when cloned by Craftsmen)

Another is the later model Kelsey Excelsior style “Victor” which is really nothing more than a 5x8 Excelsior with a side-arm instead of front-lever. Otherwise they are identical.

We also have an original Cooks-Victor with “Kelsey” cast on the side arm. This press was obviously assembled from Cook’s parts after Kelsey bought him out. The Victor style ink roller assembly was also used on an older 6x10 Excelsior we have in the collection. It’s much better than the hooks, but again, seems to cost more to make and Kelsey may have just been using up extra Cook parts.

We also have the later Excelsior-style “Victor” they replaced it with. My assumption is that William Kelsey found the quality Cooks Victor too expensive to manufacture and sell at his consistently lowest prices.

Kelsey did not make *great* presses, they made *affordable* presses and probably figured that they could not sell such a quality price to their budget market.

Craftsman did also clone the Cooks Victor. They called it the “Supreme” in a catalog from the fifties. See: http://excelsiorpress.org/CraftsmenPresses/index.html

I’ll have to scan some more pages and see if I can find any details about their Supreme to post on our site.

We also have some very impressive photos of the impression that can be achieved with the Victor. See:

In any case, it’s a great press and I have never heard anything negative about this design at all. It does share many of the Pilot’s characteristics, but is definately a totally independent design. Besides, I believe that it was designed *before* the Pilot and in fact, the Pilot might actually be called a clone of the Victor….

- Alan