press ID

I’m looking to acquire and fix up this press. It has no markings on it what so ever. Any idea what it is?

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Looks a lot like a Washington Jobber manufactured by Mabder Luse & Co. in Chicago at the turn of the century. Yours is treadle driven, that part might be a challenge to find. Rollers and such are probably standard and the Feed Table and such are easy enough to make. The photo in Hal Sterne’s book, Catalog of Nineteenth Century Printing Presses, page 302, shows a feed table on each side but yours only has a bracket on the right. I will try to post a photo.


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in the foto of the press it looks that it may have a ring inside the flywheel for A) a leather belt drive? B) a separate foot brake? i agree though that it is still set for a treadle install.

I just found this in Google Books from “Price list and printers’ purchasing guide: showing specimens of printing …”, Marder, Luse & Co., type founders. On page114.

Here is the URL

You will probably have to paste this in your browser.

I would be interested to know what the two nobs below the feed board in front are for. They are also shown in the drawing from catalog to. So your press is from about 1890.

Very interesting.

image: Washington Jobber 1890.jpg

Washington Jobber 1890.jpg

In the second photo of the back of the press, it looks like you can see, at the bottom of the back casting, the two bolts which would hold the back of the treadle. If you didn’t care too much about having a nice curved treadle like the original, one could probably be made fairly simply out of flat bar with a few extra pieces 1) welded to the back of the treadle to fit into that back press casting, and 2) pieces welded about halfway along the treadle to hold a bar which goes from the treadle, up to the crank on the flywheel shaft, and which hooks around the crank on the flywheel shaft.

Regarding the two feed tables shown in the engravings, perhaps this was for right and left handed feeders.

I’m not sure whether there are platen bolts. Maybe the two knobs below the platen are some kind of impression adjustment.

It looks like there may be a throwoff at the left side of the platen.

It looks like the bearings on the main side arms, at the platen end, may be adjustable for wear. If this is the case, there may be replaceable bearing parts, which could be fabricated if necessary.

This is definitely worth saving, in my opinion. I hope you get it, and that you keep us posted on your progress in refurbishing it. If you decide not to get it, I hope you will let us know of its whereabouts so that, hopefully, someone can save it (unfortunately it won’t be me, though). Best regards, Geoff

Thanks for all the help. This is great info! I’ve never used a platen press before but the guy I’m getting it from is an expert and I plan on learning as much as I can from him. I’ve already talked to a mechanical engineer who likes to tinker with presses about making a treadle. I’ll keep you posted on the progress. I won’t let this go to the scrap heap!