Is this a Little Giant model no. 1?

Here’s one for the Little Giant experts. Check out the pics of this Little Giant:

To me, it looks more like a mini Kelly B than the Little Giant we know from the model nos. 5 and 6. I’d be interested in any information or insights on this one —- serial no. “LG6656.” made by ATF in Elizabeth, N.J. The cast iron frame is embossed with “Webendorfer, Mount Vernon NY.” No indication of model number anywhere. Is this a model no. 1? Anyone have pics of model no. 2? Does anyone have the years of manufacture for the Little Giant serial numbers? It’s in pretty good condition, was running and printing 10 years ago.

John of Oak Root Press

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It looks like a Model 4 Little Giant to me.

I’ve never seen any of the LG models 1 through 3, so I suppose it possibly could be an earlier model than the Model 4, but I ran a model 4 and this one looks identical to it. The one I ran had a gas-fired dryer.

If you plan to get it running again, and don’t have a manual for it, there is a pretty good operating guide in the Navy printing manual from the 1940s. The later model operating guides would give you pretty good information as there are many similarities.

Thank you, John Henry. Your clue led me to other searches and I found an operators manual posted online —- links and updates were added to my page above. Do you think the gas-fired dryer is the long white tube with holes in it, visible in the pics?

The Little Giants were designed by J. F. Webendorfer, who invented many kinds of printing press: gravure, web offset, the Chief sheetfed offset, and letterpress cylinder. The lower model number Little Giants were made by Webendorfer, and most if not all had smaller sheet sizes than 12x18: the 0 at 9x12, the 2 at 10x15. His Webendorfer-Wills Company was bought by ATF in 1938. Since this Little Giant, which I agree is a Model 4, is labelled ATF, which would make it 1938 or later, but I suppose it could also be a late and rebranded Webendorfer. I have a sales brochure suggesting the Model 5 came out in 1946, and a 1937 Webendorfer brochure that doesn’t even mention the Little Giant, just offset presses.

Yes, I think that must be the heater. I have a Model 6 LG which has an electric heater which is mounted above the delivery board near the delivery pile end, and has an elliptical reflector. I really can’t recall exactly how the heater was set up on the Model 4 I ran. It has been close to 35 years since I ran that press.

Very interesting. The mysterious J.F. Webendorfer. Still, it does look a lot like a mini-Kelly B. David from Central Lithograph informed me my press was built in 1943 —- I assume he must have a data sheet on hand. I think the Model 5s and 6s retained the 12 x 18 chase size, so maybe the no. 3 retained the 10 x 15.

Webendorfer could have been influenced by Wm. Kelly’s flatbed cylinder. Kelly started working on the idea for ATF in 1911; Webendorfer went into business about 1912, but the first Little Giant was in 1928. A friend has one, which he described to me as 9x12, but I have another reference to it as 10x15. I think it was a Model 2 that Black Spot used to have, and it was a bit more developed press than the original model.
Actually, Little Giant Model 6 looks like a mini Kelly 3.

There is a No1 (9x12) Little Giant built between 1930-1935 #.2-283 No2 LG (10x15) 1935-1937 # 1001-1146, No3 LG 1937-1938 # 2000-2074, No4 LG 12x18 1938-1943 3000-6760, No5 LG 12x18 1947-1950 7001-8801(ATF serial numbers only as I do not have the serial numbers for Vickers Armstrong No. 5 ), No6 LG 12x18
ATF 1950-1953 #9001-9954 Vickers Armstrong # 0001?-
Webendorfer ceased making & selling the giants along with their offsets prior to November 11, 1938.

Webendorfer’s sheetfed presses were taken over by ATF and had the label ATF-Webendorfer for a while. My 1951 Chief 22 has that designation; also had later Chiefs from ATF and White Industries, plus a Vickers-Armstrong No. 6, and across them all a basic consistancy of feeder design, and even some parts that could fit multiple press models, like tail-wheels and ball hold-downs.