A bit of history on an Excelsior Model O

As a young boy living in Long Beach, CA my father purchased
one of these presses used. He is no longer alive, but the story passed
down is that it had been used to print handbills during the gold
rush??? I am just starting my history search on this press…any possibility
this story could be true?

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I am going to stick my neck out and opine that it probably isn’t likely. The “gold rush” was in the 1850’s and although Kelsey started early, I don’t quite think they were making presses that early. Surely someone knowledgable about the history of the Kelsey Company in Meridan, CT can tell us when it was established.

I’ll try to remember to take a peek in my library tonight and see if I can come up with anything. I know the information is in there, its just a matter of figuring out where!!!!!!!!!

Updated. I agree with Foolproof546. If your father were alive, and if he had reached the age of 100, and if he had purchased the press when he was 8 or 10 years old, he might have purchased it in 1908 or 1910. If the press he purchased was a used press, the earliest functional Kelsey press was made around 1873 and could not have been used in the Gold Rush. What did your father’s press look like? A Kelsey press made in 1873 might have looked like this Trunnion press.

My guess is that the press your father had probably looked more like this Mercury model. For further information on the history of Kelsey presses, see the Excelsior Model P press.