Improved Hand Press

Does anyone know any information about this press? and who made it? It has on it:

“Improved Hand Press”
“S L” letter overlay logo

image: 2015071095182830.jpg


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Yes, it was made by Shniedewend & Lee Co., who were electrotypers and makers of electrotyping equipment as well as some printing machinery, between 1870 and 1893 in Chicago. I don’t know just when they began offering the Improved Hand Press. I hope you got all the parts that were scattered around in the photos I saw, from the auction in Raymond, IL two weeks ago. The press looked to me to be complete, though I did not actually see the toggle. They are not very common — I think I have half a dozen recorded in the North American Hand Press Database.


Thank you for the information! It is missing the toggle/handle. With so few you would never find the part, but someone could make one. I did not purchase this press, but have an option to buy it. I was trying to find out some info on it and if it was worth it without the toggle/handle.

One photo from the auction site showing the bed and platen shows an object sitting on top of the platen that could be the bar/handle. Otherwise the photos I copied from that site do not show those parts. Sad, because they were probably there somewhere. The bar and hook would be the more difficult to make, but they and the 2 toggle parts are a significant loss. If you wanted to work slowly you could probably print satisfactorily with a bottle jack sitting on the platen and bearing on the head — but it would not be very authentic-looking!