Unknown Press Maybe a Baltimore?

I found this press on Ebay and fell in love with its simplicity. It has similar markings to a Baltimore but I wanted to know if anyone knew for sure.

Any info is a help
Thanks all

image: Baltimore.jpg


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second view.jpg

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What is the size of the chase (inside)? How is the the chase held in the press? Could you post more photos from different angles? It is either a Maryland, Baltimorean or Baltimore.


The chase size is 2-3/4” x 1-5/8”. It is shallow about 1/2” deep. It is held in place with a set screw on top and a notched bottom that wedges into a little finger on the body. The whole press is tiny, about 7-1/2” when fully extended.

It is typically called a rail press, and is completely useless as a printing tool. Mine is quite similar to yours, even down to the painted decoration, but the bed and platen do not align at any point making it impossible to use. I wonder how many of the budding printers who purchased these from Sear and Roebuck, or Montomery Ward, or the back of some adventure magazine actually continued on to be professional printers?


Thanks for the additional photos. It is a Baltimorean #4 made by John Dorman. Elizabeth Harris classifies it as C-3 design, a “C” rail press. It uses short lead type that was made specifically for these types of presses. The name was usually stenciled on the back of the platen. It was manufactured around 1889.

Thank you very much for the insight.

Just to reiterate what Platenpress said. The type that was specifically made for these presses is extremely short - about half the height of normal type. That type was sold with those presses. I have one complete outfit for a pres like that at home. It includes the original box, a small font of SMALL type, a tiny brayer, tweezers, and little containers of ink and bronzing powder that are about the size of bottle-caps. Quite a cuter little outfit for display purposes, but I couldn’t imagine actually trying to print anything decent on it.

Thank goodness I found this thread! I was the first bid on an eBay auction for a Baltimorean No. 4 and couldn’t have been more pleased, after reading the comments here, to have been outbid. It is a “cute” little press, and although I’m willing to deal with the lack of rollers, I’m in no way interested in having to purchase special type for the device.

But, if anyone else is interested, here’s the link: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=330361359120&_trkparm...