Proof Press or Sign Poster Press..?

I jut picked up this vintage proof press yesterday. There isn’t a makers name on it. It measures approx. 28” long and approx 12” wide. I cleaned it up and tested it with a standard thickness printers block I had laying around. The press seems to work well. It also came with a bag of rubber letters that measure about 1/4” thick. and a couple of trays that match the press.

Would anyone know who may have made this and when? It looks like a sign making press… Could it also be used with conventional printers blocks and type?


image: PROOF PRESS 0001.JPG


image: PROOF PRESS 0002.JPG


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Hi Mike,

I have never seen anything like it and am not quite sure what you have there. The rails on the bed are not very high and I am wondering if a galley with type in it is intended to be set there.

The other bothersome thing to me is the fast that the ‘impression’ cylinder is shiny hard metal whereas most proof press cylinders would be rubber or felt covered.

It also appears that the cylinder/handle has two ‘feet’ that extend down to the bed in this position and perhaps the handle is intended to be flipped-over in the opposite direction before rolling the unit back and forth for impression. The pivot point being off center, this would lower the cylinder/roller even closer to the bed.

I don’t think there would much height between the cylinder and the bed at all.

Is there legible copy of that yellow area, and if so what does it say?


Are you sure it’s not a clay slab roller or a baker’s dough roller?


It’s a showcard press made by the Display Equipment Company of Abrian, Michigan

image: Showcard-press.jpg