New letterpresses

Hi, this might sound like a very odd question to those that are seasoned, but is there a such thing as a new letterpress printer? Are they all antique? I have a few saved searches on ebay and I never see any new ones, nor could I find any other options online. Thanks

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I think what you meant to ask was is anyone making new presses for letterpress. The answer is a qualified yes. There was some chatter about new copies of, I believe, the Adana by some Japanese company. Very expensive. Other than that all I know about are used presses. Not all would be considered antiques since some presses were made into the 1970s and possibly later.

Printers, around here, are the people who operate printing presses.

Most presses are antiques, and quite a few of us printers are too.

Yeah, there is a Japanese Adana, which listed for $4,000 US last time I ran across it…and a few folks who have made their own presses of various designs.

There was also a company in Mumbai making floor-model C&Ps that they called ‘export quality’. I emailed them some time ago and never heard back.

Nobody is making a new ‘pilot’ style, though increasingly, there appears to be a market for them given the outrageous eBay prices.

Hi, Forget the Japanese Adana copies. Caslon UK, sell really top quality reconditioned Adana presses using new spares stock. The Adana 8x5 retails for between 500 and 600 UK pounds. Go to and select Adana products for more details.

Second-hand Adanas do appear fairly regularly in, just do regular searches under Letterpress.



In Great Britain, Harry F. Rochat Ltd. makes a flatbed cylinder proof press “designed to fill a demand in wood and lino blocks.” It has an adjustable bed, grippers on bed, but no inking system. It does come with a premium price as one might expect.

The web site say that they are in the drawing stage for an Albion.

Maybe it’s time for a concerted effort to get Craftsman Machinery to bring back their copy of the 7x11 Pearl? If it could be made for a reasonable price it could fill a small-press need, since it has a small floor footprint, a throw-off, and good feeding action.

The problem is always cost…Rochat Ltd. appears to make a great press, but at over 7,000 Pounds Sterling, I could buy a KSBA, or several windmills and a bunch of ancillary equipment, or a monotype machine and extras.

I like the idea of the Pearl, but I suspect the price would have to be kept at below $3,000-$4,000 to find any volume of buyers. I don’t know how much they would cost to make, and whether it could be done at a low enough price to keep it onshore.

The main reason that letterpresses are so old and hard to find is that they are the “IBM Selectric” of printing. ALL printing used to be done by letterpress before offset printing was invented. From the time of Gutenberg’s invention of moveable type until the invention of offset, letterpress ruled! As the new technology gained ground and letterpresses were retired, the old process waned. In recent times there has been a renewed enthusiasm for letterpress, especially by hobby and specialty printers. However, there is not yet sufficient interest to attract manufacturers to make new letterpress machines.

The company in India is no longer making the floor model platens. But they could assemble one from parts for a mere $3800 plus transport from Indian Sea Port. This is the 12x18 I believe, so I figure the total cost would be around $7000-9000.

No thanks.

Thanks to you all for the information. I apologize I used the word “printer” wrong, learned something new! Thanks all

Language changes. In the 19th century, a “computer” was a person…

If you’re not aware of it there is a man in the US who is making brand new Albion presses. I believe the size is about 10x15 or thereabouts. He had managed to make new wooden foundry patterns and once they are cast he does all the machining and fitting himself. A friend in Vancouver BC has bought one and from what I have heard, he loves it.

I believe the maker is Steven Pratt of Pratt Wagon Works. That’s all I know othern the friend’s name is Rollin Millroy of Heavnly Monkey Press in Vancouver.


Info for Steve Pratt. Last I heard he does not have email.