Peerless for first press? Weight?

Theres a Peerless press (made in Palmyra NY) available on Ebay and I am wondering if this would be OK for a first press. I have no experience printing… except one short lesson at Dartmouth College on a Vandercook sp-15. I read in one article that the Peerless is not great for a beginner press, but it didnt say why. It does have a throwoff lever and I would only use the foot pedal (if the seller can find it). I would only be using this press as a hobby for printing note cards and things like that (to start). It seems affordable, that is why I am considering it. Anyone know how much one of these wieghs? I am thinking 600?

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I would guess the weight might be closer to 800-1000 lbs. It is apparently an 8x12 and probably similar in weight to the 8x12 C&P. Don’t buy it if he can’t find the chase unless you want to have one made — I seriously doubt if you’d find one elsewhere. Of course the same could be said for the treadle. But I believe the Peerless is a pretty decent press, especially with a throw-off, though it is a clam-shell. It was one of over a dozen different presses built by John M. Jones in Palmyra. I’ve written a brief history of his enterprises.


I owned a Peerless Job Press for a few years when I was in college, and found it to be a very good press for the work I was doing (printing 2-up book pages). It had a sort of toggle joint action which made it somewhat better than similar sized lightweight presses.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to a beginner as I found it to be quite satisfactory. If you don’t find a treadle, power it with a motor which you can slow down to a satisfactory feeding speed and you will find it to be safe.

J. Henry