Letterpress-Offset press?????

Does anyone know anything about this strange press?
I know that the type foundry Johannes Wagner in Ingolstadt has cast a few ‘Umkehr’ or right reading founts, but have never seen or heard of a press like this. Please educate me.
Gott grüß die Kunst

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Jens, let me have a look that I’ve got, entitled ‘Introduction to Printing’ by Herbert Simon, published by Faber and Faber in London. I think this process used to be called ‘letterset’ in the UK.

http://www.briarpress.org/24785 (don’t know why this link doesn’t work but you can get it if you put Little Joe into the Briarpress search box)


In North America just about every ink company has a “Little Joe” offset letterpress for making proofs of ink color formulations. A measured volume of ink is deposited on the ink plate using a small applicator which is made for that purpose. The ink is rolled out and then rolled onto the printing plate (which is usually a large solid), and then a proof is pulled.

Since your press does have an inking system, I think it must have been for a different purpose.

Well, its not that common but not strange either. Vandercook even made a power carriage version.

They were used to make nameplates and apply ink as a resist for PCB etching and a lot of other things; but the advent of higher resolution photo-screenprinting sort of replaced them.

Probably/Possibly, Heidelberg KORD/KOR?
Mid 80,s interim hallway stage between Letterpress Proper and Off set proper. Did not last very long, along with last ditch stand by Monotype Hot Metal re-jigging to set film, for Litho, by substituting the Hot Metal die-case with Film optics.

Supposition NOT facts,!!! Apologies in advance.

very intersting hybrid
but that is not a heidelberg kord. the heidelberg kord( excelent offset press by the way) .is more like the heidelberg ksb ksba etc

It is a model R1 offset marking press made by Grauel. This is not a test/proof press, but a manual production press like an offset pad press. This looks like an earlier example, the later presses had nylon parts where this has bronze.

They were imported to the States by a company called Eastern Marking Machine Company. The one I had was used for imprinting faceplates and speedometer faces. They could also be used for imprinting onto thick plastic, metal, glass or anything that won’t go into a traditional press. The art would be prepared as a right-reading relief plate, locked into the chase and then a jig/parts holder adapted onto the print bed (which can be raised/lowered to accommodate parts up to 4 or 5 inches thick).

Here’s mine without the blanket and rollers.

image: photo 1.JPG

photo 1.JPG

In the UK there was a much smaller press made by Rejafix which also used right reading type.
The text is printed onto a rubber block and the item to be printed is rolled across or presse onto the rubber block. It was advertised as a machine to print on round objects such as small bottles.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157631959740961

Mick is correct in saying that the Heidelberg KORD press could be used in a similar manner (although quite a departyure from the press being discussed).

The plate cylinder on the KORD could be used to mount shallow relief plates which would ink up and transfer the image to the blanket, which would then print to the paper, thus a “letterpress/offset” method. Heidelberg called this “Letterset” in their manual and on the faceplate of the machine itself.

While teaching at Northern Illinois University, I had an assignment in the advanced litho course which required students to produce a four-color piece using pre-made shallow relief plates on the KORD press. It was always good fun to see the students’ faces when they started to see the full-color images progressively appear with each run of the press.

John Henry

heidelberg kord 64 uses a cylinder where you atach an offset plate..
i dont see any similarity.when we are talking about an automatic feeding system and very good ink coverage cylinder systemwithout a plate.

Thanks to you all for your inputs – very interesting reading. It’s funny that after 25 years of letterpress printing there is still so much to learn. Thanks for this site!
Best wishes & Gott grüß die Kunst