Westman & Baker press

I have a Westman & Baker letter press, built in Toronto (assuming 1920s). Everything seems to be in working order, except the gelatin rollers have started to decompose and need replacing.

I’d like to sell it to someone who will make good use of it. Any idea how much I should ask for it?

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image: WestmanBaker3.jpg


Could you tell us what the inside measurements are, of the chase which is sitting on the delivery board?

Are there any cracks, breaks or welds in the press castings?

Is this press in a basement, which will necessitate taking it apart to get it out?

What is the location of the press?

All these things will affect the value.

It would be great to find a new owner who will use it. I thank you for going this route instead of junking it.

Regards, Geoff

This was a duplication of my message above so I deleted it.

measurements are 10x15 inches. No cracks, breaks or welds. Appears to have original paint job. All parts are working and you can operate by foot pedal (treadle?). Just have to clean up and replace the rollers.

This one is located in London, Ontario and yes it’s in a basement. I’m assuming it can come apart (fly wheel, etc) and be carried out and reassembled.

Also has a dozen or so typesets.

I have moved W & B presses numerous times. They are the same design as Gordon’s second model (1872) and, although there are no serial number records for W & B manufacture, you should find a serial number stamped visibly on several of the machined surfaces. The press could be as early as 1874 or as late as 1910 or so.
I have created an instruction sheet for the dismantling (and remantling) of these presses, if a purchaser should require one. They’re actually easier to dismantle than the C & Ps, for the most part.
Good Luck, Stephen Sword

Thanks Stephen. Still haven’t found a serial number, but it’s clearly marked Westman & Baker. I would like to get an instruction sheet from you for dismantling the press…most likely we’ll have to take it apart to move it out of the basement (for weight reasons). Also, it sounds like the various parts may be worth more than the whole (unfortunately) so we’ll see.

I hope you’ll be able to keep the press together. By the way, what can you tell me about the type you have with the press?
I’d be happy to send along the dismantling info. I have it on another computer so I’ll have to transfer the file first. The Briar press email system may not allow me to attach the file , so if I have a problem I may need to have you give me your email address. I’ll get back to you at the beginning of the week. If you’d rather not post your email here, I can give you a contact in the London area who will be happy to help us make a connection.
The serial number, for what it’s worth, is usually stamped in several locations, a three, maybe four digit number. The easiest place to look is on the upper surface of either of the connecting rods on either side of the delivery board (the steel bars that run straight back to the ink roller arms).

Hurrah for the man who is willing to give instruction on dismantling/remantling heavy machinery! — A.

Thanks for the tip. Still no serial number, but there is a plaque on the arm that reads “Stephenson, Blake and Co. Limited. Type Founders Toronto, Canada.” no date.

a dozen or so typesets including:

10pt. sans serif light LC
10 pt. sans serf light CAPS
18 pt. GOUDY
12, 24 pt. GOUDY
12 pt. copperplate
30 pt. sans serif
18 pt. sans serif
12 pt. franklin gothic caps.
12 pt. franklin gothic lc
18 pt., other size? parenisi italic lc
12 pt. ultra bodoni lc

not sure how complete they are (don’t know many come in a standard set!)

Hello, I am in Kennewick, wA, and I too have a 10x15 Westman and Bakaer. Missing the ink disk and treadle parts. Haven’t been able to find a serial number. Where are you and do you still have the press.I’m at 509-366-2241.