Any information about a Dorman Eclipse Platten Jobber

My wife and I acquired a Dorman Eclipse Platten Jobber about 8 years ago and have been using it since. I am curious if anyone has knowledge about this press. Based on an historic sketch of the press we know it is missing a several parts, but we have been using it successfully without them.

I do know the press was at the University of Alabama for some time and was moved to Utah during the early to mid 90’s I believe. We bought the press in 1999 and had some very minor repairs completed so that it would function. We have also had new rollers made.

I am trying to get as much history as possible about Dorman and his Eclipse. I had looked through the museum information here at Briar Press several years ago and didn’t find much. I’ve recently done more searching and found information not only here but elsewhere on the www.

The press will be part of an exhibit in a local museum for several months this spring and we will be using the press occasionally while on exhibit. I suspect there will be many questions asked about the press and I’d like to be able to answer as accurately as possible.

Any help is appreciated.


image: dorman eclipse 007 small.jpg

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An interesting press, for sure. At first glance, it appears that the treadle is too long, but I guess that’s because it doesn’t have feedboards.

Hi Graham: Ralph Green “A History of the Platen Jobber” 1953, lists the Eclipse as made by J. F. W. Dorman, Baltimore, 1884-1895. “Catalogue of Nineteenth Century Printing Presses” Harold E. Sterne, 1978, p. 242, shows an Eclipse Jobber, with treadle and throw-off, manufactured by J. F. W. Dorman, Baltimore, circa 1890. James Moran “Printing Presses” 1973, makes no mention of either Eclipse or Dorman. Am I correct in assuming this is an 8 x 12? Good luck moving the press to the museum exhibit.

Hi Graham,
The other avenue of enquiry you might want to pursue is the printer at Shelburne Museum in Vermont where there is another Dorman. Heather Hale is their printer during the on-season. the Museum website is