Question about the Morgan Line-O-Scribe

Hi Guys

I’m a papermaker and printmaker trying to expand my little handmade paper shop into the realm of letterpress stationary and little flyers/posters (I’m also talking to someone on Craigslist for a little 5X8 Kelsey in good shape for the stationary work).

While searching through ebay’s listings I found a Morgan Line-O-Scribe M711, being auctioned off that seems (from what internet research I’ve done) to be going for a reasonable price.

Link here:

I have some experience with Vandercooks and little tabletop platens, from a couple of letterpress classes I took in college. However, I don’t really have any experience with Line-O-Scribes, and don’t really know what I should be looking for in terms of a useable press. From comparisons with pictures of other folks Morgan’s that I found online- this press seems to be missing the cover that goes over the roller. Is that necessary towards the good operation of this press?

Thanks Again

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Hi Tara,

the M711 does not have a cover that goes over the roller. That feature is only present on the larger presses and does not impact the operation of the press.

The Line-O-Scribes were used to print showcards in stores, and came in various configurations of type, furniture, cabinets, brayers etc.

They aren’t bad for what they are, namely portable and simple. The M711 does not have grippers, unlike the 11x14 and larger models. This means you will have trouble registering multiple colors. Also, it does not have an impression-adjustment knob, which the larger ones do (I believe this feature was mostly to make it easier for non-trained printers in the back of a department store to produce showcards from less than optimal formes).

I’ve owned three Line-O-Scribes, two 1114 and one 711. They have been sold to people who wanted to proof their wood/lino cuts.

A Morgan Showcard Press is a great starter press, BUT
Please buy one with grippers and roller adjustment or you best disappointed with your results. Good Luck