Unknown 5x8 press, Parts

I’ve had two 5x8 platen presses, since 1960. (My father co-owned a typesetting company with his brother, called King Typographic Service, until 1963, which is where they came from).
I haven’t used them (or even looked at them) since 1970. However, if I recall the parts were pretty interchangeable with a Kelsey Standard Press. I think that they are made of aluminum, in any case they are much lighter than a cast iron press. Both presses are identical. One has a travelling suitcase, which the press fits into, when taken apart. There are no markings on either press.

Does anyone know anything about these presses?
I need ink hammers, roller trucks and chases for both of them.
Does anyone know where I can get the parts?

Thanks, Paul

PS - I was a print shop teacher in the early 70s in NYC and
owned a phototypesetting business from 1976 through 1990.

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I have a very good idea what presses they might be….. but I have a few questions:

1. are they painted? If they are, what color are they?
2. What is the fitted case made of? specifically, is it pressboard, wood, or metal?

They might be Adanas, but if Kelsey parts interchanged with them then they may be a bit more interesting. Is it possible for you to e-mail me a picture of them?

Possibly Kelsey made presses for the military. Something portable to print propaganda leaflets. I think I heard about this, possibly someone else has more info.

Hi & thanks for comments.
The presses are not painted. The case looks like pressboard with some type of black laminate on it. It has metal pieces around the edges and corners for support.
I will post pictures as soon as I can.
In regard to the propaganda leaflets, I seem to remember my father telling me, along time ago, that that was what the presses were made for.

I worked at Kelsey for a number of years. In our “museum” we had one of the unpainted aluminum presses that were built for the government. As previously mentioned, it had no markings on them, and they were made to easily come apart and put back together. I also remember there were rubber components. I was told they were to help the machine run quieter.


Sorry for the delay, here are a couple of pictures of the 2 presses. One has a case, the other does not.

image: P1010002.JPG


image: P1010008.JPG



Those are indeed OSS (later CIA) presses built to print propaganda leaflets and instructions for clandestine operatives during WWII and later during the Cold War. They are listed in the OSS Equipment catalogs of the era, and in Keith Melton’s book “OSS Special Weapons and Equipment”.

They are quite well made presses, except that the metal is a bit softer than the cast-iron machines, and thus they do not stand up well in day to day use. Their real value lies not as functional presses, but as WWII collectibles.

aka Winking Cat Press

Kelsey Presses. Your second press (P101008, attached) looks exactly like a cast iron 5x8 press that I have. See my picture attached. It has no markings except a small pattern or foundry plate “Pfeiffer 13”. Initially, I thought it was a Kelsey as I have owned three 5x8 Kelseys. It even sounds like a Kelsey when it is printing, right down to the unique “click” that it makes when the impression is finalized.

Does the Pfeiffer plate mean anything to you?

image: P1010008.JPG


image: Pfeiffer-13 012-small.jpg

Pfeiffer-13 012-small.jpg

Not sure what the Pfeiffer plate is. I am continuing to research my presses and if I run across any info I will post it.

Paul Bookbinder:
Steve Saxe provided the answer about my unmarked Peiffer imitation of the Kelsey press.

P.Peiffer produced and sold copies of the 3x5 and 5x8 Kelsey presses. By searching the Popular Mechanics and Popular Science Archives, I learned that Peiffer advertised from 1934 to 1945.
Paul (PointFive)

Thanks for info. I am still researching my WWII, OSS, unmarked Kelsey presses. Info is scarce. Have received several requests to sell them, which I will consider after I learn more about them. I bought Keith Melton’s book “OSS Special Weapons and Equipment” which was recommended, (and very interesting), but it only lists an offset press, which goes into a similar case to the one I have.