Victor Press

Hello, I was wondering what you guys knew about a 6x9” Victor Press? I found someone who is planning to sell one, but I don’t know a lot about these presses! Hope you can help me out! Thanks!

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I have a Cooks Victor which was before Kelsey bought them. If you go on, Alan has a history of these presses. They are known to be very strong and equal in impression to the C&P Pilot press. I have been very pleased with mine all the way around.

Here are a few links for review.

It’s a neat press capable of doing good work and not that different in function than other similar-sized tabletops. What kind of presses are you currently familiar with (i.e., what’d you learn on)? If it’s chase size you are looking to maximize, it’s comparable to a Pilot (6.5x10).

Another thing to consider is what kind of printing will you be doing with it. Like most tabletop presses it’s not something one can produce some of the more popular styles of deep impression printing, because it’d be too much for it. Likewise, you won’t be able to print the full chase, either. Etc. But if you work within the limits of a tabletop, I bet you’d be happy with it! Good luck!!


The Victor is a top of the line tabletop. They work on the same engineering concept as the Pilot. They are really beautiful as well. The rails are wider than almost any other press which helps against wear. The pull is easy and smooth, and they have good impression strength. The ink pawl mechanism is strong and positive. Gripper mechanism is spring activated and simple. Platen has a center spring/bolt, and four typical adjustment screws. The side lever handle is reversable for right or left hand use. Original model came with feed board and brackets. Cook’s Victor was made by J. Cook. He was Kelsey’s landlord in Meriden, CT. Cook saw how well Kelsey was doing selling his presses and designed this one to sell on his own. The press was so popular Kelsey wound up buying him out to eliminate the competition. Kelsey then put his own name on the press. (Kelsey Victor) for a few years. The press was discontinued because it was expensive to manufacture. Kelsey later used the Victor name again when he changed his own press front lever to a side lever press. The two presses should not be confused however, as the Cooks Victor design is far superior.


JF, boy that was a long nap.

Thank you! What do you think a restored Victor press is worth?

Is $2,500 a reasonable price for a restored Victor, or too much?

its hard to put a price on these things. Some like their equipment painted and shined up and that is ok, myself give me a filthy dirty, greasy mess and i’m happy, a little rust is ok too. When i get a press i just wipe the parts that need to be clean then get rid of the rust, throw some oil on it and i’m printing, these are printing presses, they are made to get ink all over them and globs of oil and grease everywhere.

I just bought a Kelsey Victor 6x10 Model X.
I paid $1050 for it on ebay. It was being sold by a guy who didn’t know much about letterpress, he got the press at an auction and was just trying to make a profit, I think.

It’s not fully restored but it has been repainted and needed no cleaning…just new rollers and a chase which wasn’t too hard to find. I think if you’re in a rush to get started and you have the money, go ahead and get the restored one for $2500, even though it seems a bit high. Someone will eventually buy it for that price so you can snag it now or wait around for something cheaper to come along but it seems like you never really know how long you’ll have to wait until you find another one.

Five years ago Kelseys were selling on eBay for $150. This discussion is surreal.

I know, I can’t believe how much to prices have risen! I wish I was one of those people that bought it many years ago!

Paul, i sold a 6x10 kelsey 5 years ago for $300, and also a 8x12 craftsman for $400, six months later the craftsman presses were selling for $1500, i agree that the prices have gone nuts. if you take your time and look around there are still some bargains to be found, my wife bought a Young American press 4x6 at a yard sale for $5.00 last summer, we recently pulled 2 kelseys 3x5 from a pile of scrap iron for less money, the kelseys are rusted solid but with a little wd40 i think they will work in time.