Location of serial number on a Challenge press

Can anybody tell me if a Challenge Gordon press 8x12 has a serial number and where it is? Also is there a list of number and date of manufacture? Thanks. Howard H

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The location of the serial number on my Challenge Gordon 8x12 is located on the end of the shaft-center of the large right hand gear. Mine is a 4-digit number 3123. I have a photo of it, but it exceeds Briar’s 512KB max.
See: http://www.flickr.com/photos/39182740@N04/5186608143/
Dave Greer

Dave, Thank you. I won’t get to the press until tuesday. I was looking at the flat areas. No ideas about age? Howard

As I recall, there was a separate thread about Challenge Gordons, somewhere on Briar, and I asked about dating them by serial numbers, but I don’t think that there was a response. I was told that my press was made circa 1886, from a source long ago, but I was never able to verify it.
It is the same press that originated with Shniedewend & Lee’s Challenge, which shows a circa 1885 date in Hal Sterne’s Catalogue of early presses. I’m not sure how many years that they were in production.

Dave, After a little work with a rag and solvent there it was. No.6964 so newer than yours but not sure how much. Thanks again. Howard H

Hello fellow Challenge Gordon owners. It’s good to know where to find the serial numbers. Does either of the presses you have still have the foot treadle and connector bar? If so, would you be willing to measure it and send the measurements to me so I can have one made?

Take a look at this thread:


If the brass nameplate behind the platen, visible when the platen is closed, shows “Grand Haven, Mich”, that indicates the press was built after 1903 when Challenge moved there.

My press is a Grand Haven model, serial number 8529. Tony King, who posted on the other thread, has serial number 8771. He reports noting a patent date of October 1907 on the right hand drive wheel (my press lacks the right hand drive wheel, so no patent dates shown). Challenge stopped making platen presses in 1910, so this indicates Tony’s and my presses were probably built around 1907-1910. I figure this must be my press’s 100th birthday, or perhaps one to three years more.

Also my press has a different throwoff design than the one shown in the photo on the other thread linked above, which pivots high up near the top of the platen (and in other images I’ve seen of Challenge-Gordons). On my press the throwoff pivots next to the flywheel shaft; I’m speculating that this was a later design, and perhaps the subject of one of their later patents.

I don’t have a treadle, so can’t help with the dimensions.

Matt Kelsey

I will be at the location, where my press is, over the Thanksgiving holiday and will try to remember to get the dimensions of the treadle & actuating rod for you, if they have not been published prior to that. If my brain is still functioning, after a turkey dinner & wine, I will take a photo and put it on my Flickr site.
Dave Greer

I have posted a picture of the 8 x 12 Challenge Gordon treadle and the dimesions on my flickr site:


The press has not been used in several years, and needs a good cleaning, so please forgive the appearance.

The actuating rod should be the easiest to duplicate. You could make the treadle out of welded & drilled bar-stock with an added foot pad made from hardwood or flat steel. The dimensions are as accurate as I could get them, without disassembling everything.

Dave Greer