Help Identifying a Press

I am interested in purchasing the press shown on the attached photo. I only have this photo to work from. The owner says it is a Kelsey, but based on my review of the press photos it resembles a Pilot. Maybe a clone? Any Ideas?

Thanks in advance


image: letterpress.jpg


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I think you’re right. I’m not familiar with all Kelsey models, but I’ve never seen one with an attached feedboard, or with the type of impression mechanism this press has. However, Craftsman made a press similar to the Pilot, but I’m not sure either they or C&P ever made a Pilot-like press with a stirrup handle. There is a Japanese-made Pilot clone that, I believe, does have the stirrup handle. Actually, there was a German-made Pilot-like press that might fit this press’s characteristics. But there are more knowledgeable experts than I on this list. Perhaps one of them will weigh in.

Definitely not a Pilot—although C&P did produce a Pilot with a stirrup handle:

image: 2612616180_0753df9973.jpg


Looks similar to these Japanese presses, but with a crooked lever.

Thanks all for your thoughts. I also found this recent ad/photo for a press that was sold by American Printing Supply. While the arm is not the same the linkage looks similar to the flat bars on either side of the chase bed

image: Pilot W German clone.bmp

Pilot W German clone.bmp

It looks almost identical to this press that Don Black has listed but not identified

I’ve got a collection of Kelsey catalogs and advertisements going back to the very early days of the brand. I am fairly certain that it is not a Kesley or a Victor.

On the point of this thread, I am fairly certain the press pictured is not a Kelsey Victor.

The earlier statement that Kelsey did not make a press with side arms or a feedboard is not correct since Kelsey did make a Cook-style Victor 6x9 press until WWII with side arms, a side lever and feedboard. There was even an old-style and a new style version and I have been fortunate to have seen and worked on both models in a friend’s shop.

His new style Victor is even for sale, today since he is retiring from hobby printing (if that’s possible).

See attached picture from Briar Press files.

Steve Saxe has kindly posted an ad from a 1934? Kelsey catalog of the Victor Press.

image: Kelsey-Victor_thumbnail.png


Just an FYI, Kelsey made side-armed 6 X 10 models with a feedboard right up through the end of the 1970’s. I personally build 5 - 10 pieces a year. We did not sell huge numbers of this style as we charged a good premium.