The Soldan Proof Press

I have been trying to find any documentation on the Soldan Proof Press - it is one of the largest presses made by Soldan.

Primarily setting up inking rollers plus information on the other range of rollers / switches and levers, but also the history of the company and details of how many presses were made etc.

If anyone has any information please feel free to get in contact.

Many thanks

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Perhaps look up and check in with *Head Honcho* at,
The >Hell Box Type Foundry,< down in the Garden of England, He “Da Man“ to talk to possibly. - May be able to point in the right direction.

speak to Ed Denovan, [email protected]. Based in Kent, saves you having to decode Micks advice above.

Otto Soldan, born 1862, was a German immigrant who moved to London in the 1880s. He worked in a bank, but the salary was low and he acquired a small business distributing imported types and printing ornaments from a fellow German called Mr Schilling. Otto changed the company name and in 1896 Soldan & Company was founded. He left the bank and also began importing German presses, Liberty platens from the USA and the Typograph (rival to Linotype) from Berlin. The company’s biggest commercial success was the German-made “Lightning” proof presses (3 different models). These were so popular that Otto Soldan built a factory in London and started making them here in batches of 50.

By 1914, Soldan’s order book was full, after the most successful Printing Machinery Exhibition in the company’s history. The orders were never completed, as Otto Soldan’s company was shut down by the British Government shortly after the outbreak of war. Soldan had become a naturalised British subject, but his business partner, who provided the finance for the Typograph, was German - an enemy alien.

By 1915, following the Lusitania Riots in May, over 32,000 innocent Germans were held in internment camps in the UK “for their own safety”.

In 1924, the company began trading again and Soldans Ltd was formed. They traded continuously and very successfully until July 1968 when they were taken over by Harris-Intertype, and the Soldan name abandoned. The “Lightning” presses were re-introduced successfully from 1924 and many remain in use today. Otto Soldan died in 1943 and his son Bill ran the family firm until its demise in 1968.

Fritz Klinke may have additional information in his archive files, as Soldans had various import deals with Vandercook from 1955 onward, for which they were the main UK agent.

I have a very vague memory of a link with a company called Western Engineering, here in the UK building something very similar.

Basil Head’s your man, have you spoken to him about it already?

Great response - thank you all for the information.

Soldan Lightening in John Jarrold museum…..

this company says it has a Soldan currently awaiting restoration plus others , are press restorers so could help?