Simplissimus platen press

A British made copy circa 1880 of a German design is listed on eBay UK.

Does anybody have any information on this press.

image: simplissimus_platen.JPG


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No, but it is really cool!

Yes, indeed!!! I have one in New Zealand - and after years of enquiries and postings etc, I’m delighted to see that there is at least one other one still in existence! They’re not actually a British copy of a German one - they were made by the Birmingham Machinists Company - who had the patent on the principle of the mechanism… which is simple and effective. St Brides library managed to ferret out some information about the company and its presses for me - which, of course, I have put somewhere…

I wouldn’t want to use it on that base - it might tip over backwards because the whole mechanism lifts and swings back (the pins that hold it down look as if they may be missing) to expose the horizontal type bed. When it is swung back over, a cam system and toggle on each side lower the platen. It’ll print the ‘inside’ of a quarto sheet, but the fingers will just accommodate A4 paper. I’m not sure that I’d want to print runs of more than about a hundred… but for that it works very well…

From “Amateur Work’” ca. 1898

image: ScreenHunter_493 Feb. 14 13.50.gif

ScreenHunter_493 Feb. 14 13.50.gif

That’s nice to see - a reference to the Simplissimus that I hadn’t come across. Mine doesn’t have the cabinet, and the left hand impression handle is missing, but it works very well, and is fun to use. There is a reference to one being in Palmerston North in New Zealand’s North Island in the late nineteenth century - but I am not sure whether that is the one I have, which I got in Dunedin NZ in the 1970’s.

Stephen, is that a Google book you found the reference in?