Copy Press #9

In my never-ending quest to rescue lost / abandoned / hidden away presses and equipment, I’ve run across a very cool book press….. but I can’t find out anything about it.

It is identical to the Copy Press #9,( shown in the museum photo below. ) but there are no markings of any kind on it. Judging from the square nuts, and hammered rivets I’d guess it’s pretty old, but I don’t know.

It’s got an interesting toggle / lever type of action, and looks like it might make a fine tabletop handpress if given a bed / tympan & frisket…. and so forth.

Does anyone know who made this baby, and when?

image: copy press 9.png

copy press 9.png

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OK… a quick update: my eagle -eyed research assistant (Bev) ID’d it as a Racine Automatic Copy Press, circa 1898 to 1905 or so.
a link to an iditification is at:

Now all i need to do is clean ‘er up!

duplicate post in error

This is a very uncommon design for a copy press. I have only seen one or two of this style over the past three + decades. I have seen A LOT of copy presses and have ten in my own collection.

One thing to note is that although this appears to be really nifty with the toggle-action, I would not try to really get a deep impression with this if you intend to try to print with it. It is simply not anywhere near as solid or heavy-duty as copy presses with heavy upper castings that rely on the screw action only. Also note that the one shown on the museum site has a brazed/repaired handle because someone at some point in time tried to apply so much pressure that it broke.


Rick, I think you are right about it’s relative sturdiness. While mine is not broken, I see that it’s rather lightly constructed. Perhaps I’ll not use it as a press, after all.

I DO like the toggle action, though. Made out of decent-section hardwood, it could be a good press design.


We have one of these toggle action copy presses at Cooper Union. It is very good when you are working on a bunch of books of the same dimension. You can set the pressure with the wheel then just pull the lever to swap them out. You get perfectly consistant pressure from one to the next.

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

I saw one like this last week, which was given to a friend of mine by someone from Mcgraw Hill. It was said to be a nipping press… you could set the height, then just nip a run with the handle without changing the settings.
It looked pretty much identical…