I recently acquired an 8 x 12 Chandler & Price New Style Letterpress. I was looking for some help identifying a few parts that seemed to have been added on after. What is the canister/cylinder underneath the press? First photo is just of the press. The remaining three show the cylinder from 3 sides. Any help would be appreciated!
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It looks like the press was set up for an automatic feeder that is not there now, and the cylinder is probably connected to the crank on the flywheel shaft that would otherwise be where a treadle would connect. The cylinder was to provide either suction for paper pickup by the feeder or air blast to separate the top few sheets of the feed stack, or possibly both. It has no function for regular manual feeding on that press and could be removed. You will need to remove the rest of the feeder and install a feed table in order to use the press for manual feeding.
What an ingenious use of the CP mechanism!