I wonder if someone could help us give an approximate date for two Kelseys. One is a Excelsior 3x5 and is supposed to have the serial number M09003A - no photos. The other is an Excelsior 5x8 and pictures are attached. I cannot find any serial numbers on this anywhere. Where should the serial number be? As can be seen, the gooseneck bar has been broken and braised up. Is it possible to get a replacement for this. Thanks for any help with these presses

image: Kelsey1.jpg


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I’ve made photocopied images of Excelsior presses from Kelsey catalogues from 1878 through 1938, and lined them up on a chart for comparison. The differences are slight and using the chart to date the presses isn’t easy. However, based on the lettering on your press: “THE EXCELSIOR,” two lines, in an arc, that matches the image taken from the Kelsey 1902 catalogue. (Excelsiors from the 1930s have the same two lines with the addition of a third line giving the model letter.) So, tentatively, I’d say your press is ca. 1902.

I have to make a major correction to my comments above. I’ve been going over my Kelsey catalogues with the idea of using them to date presses. While I was doing that I found that your press is pictured in the Kelsey 1924 catalogue, NOT the 1902. I don’t know where the 1902 came from, but it is wrong.
1924 is correct.
My apologies.

Any chance for a peak at that clever Kelsey chart?

Yes - last night I scanned several press images and today David MacMillan is working on putting together a working chart. We are very close to finished, but I want to proofread and double-check all the images before we go online. That shouldn’t take long.

The catalogue images from Kelsey catalogues are from the following years: 1878, 1882, 1887, 1894, ca. 1896, 1924, 1931, 1934, 1936, 1937,1937, 1947, 1965, 1974, 1975. As you can see, there are gaps in my catalogues, especially between 1896 and 1924, between 1924 and 1931, between 1947 and 1965, etc. If anyone reading this has a Kelsey catalogue for any year not in the list above, I would appreciate hearing from them. The idea is to make this list show as many presses as possible, to be as usfeul as possible.

More soon.

Steve & David,
This URL shows my ca. 1904 Kelsey catalog, on Flickr. The page with the 11 x 16 press has had over 900-hits, mostly by printers from the Latin American area. Feel free to upload any of the photos.[email protected]/sets/72157623770704347/
Dave Greer

Brilliant. Thanks very much for this. I’ll try and get a photo of the 3x5 off the person who has it if you wouldn’t mind having a look at that to see if you can put a date on it. I really appreciate this info.
H in NZ

The chart is online and covers 101 years of Kelsey Excelsior presses, from 1874 to 1975. There isn’t a press picture for every year, but David MacMillan and I hope to fill in the gaps. If you have a Kelsey catalogue for a year not in the chart, we would be very happy to hear from you.

The chart is at

It covers only Excelsior table top presses, not Victor presses or Kelsey’s treadle presses.