Hoe 151 Washington Press Mormons???

Hoe 151 Washington Hand Press that was found in an old
barn in 2013 was located only a few miles from the Kirkland
Temple in Kirkland, Ohio. The temple was home of the mormons in the 1830s. They had a print shop with at lest two
presses. This press was built in the 1830s. Is it a coincedence
that this press survived 180 years only a few miles from the
temple or was it used there and saved. Would like input from
Mormon or handpress historians. Dukesr

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Remember that in the early years of Hoe’s Washington hand press manufacture the serial numbering system seems to have been somewhat chaotic — they were building Smith presses before the 1830s with one serial numbering system, and the earliest known Hoe Washington, apparently made using Rust’s casting patterns but with a Hoe identification plate, has number 538. I believe they must have kept two or more serial number sequences at first, one for Smith presses and possibly two for Washingtons which were later combined. I think that earliest known Hoe Washington may have been numbered in the Smith press sequence, though.

It is certainly possible that your press was made in the late 1830s after Hoe acquired the patent rights around 1835, and that it was used by the Mormon printers at Kirkland. I would suggest you seek for historically contemporary writings by the people at the Kirkland Temple regarding the printing, in hopes they mentioned details of the press used.


Hoe 151 has R Smith scrowel
on top with Improved Hoe
brass shied No 151. It has hollow columns and a figure
4 impression which are probably Rust. See photo Dec.
2013 ( upside down ) Any information would be helpful.
Thanks Dukesr

While researching, it may help to spell Kirtland correctly.


In theory Hoe purchased the rights in 1835 to both the figure-4 toggle and the frame design of head, winter, and two hollow columns with large wrought-iron rivets through them to the head and winter, making the frame lighter and stronger. Both features were patented by Samuel Rust, the toggle in 1821 and the frame in 1829. If they made the press before 1835 they violated the patent, and Rust would not have tolerated that. I think the most likely answer is that when they acquired the patents they began making the Rust frame and toggle (Rust also had called the press a Washington since 1821) and started a new serial number series for the smaller presses, continuing the numbering of the Smith press series with the larger Washingtons. Or they started a new number series for all the Washingtons and yours is older than the larger one at the Mercer Museum in Doylestown PA that was made with Rust’s original patterns, except for the legs.

Hoe had several disastrous fires in the foundry which would probably have destroyed wooden casting patterns, and that is my explanation for the changes to the form of the presses. At the same time they acquired the patents and patterns they began putting the coiled vines design on their Washingtons and the Smith presses with Rust’s frame design. The decorations and name information were separate carved wooden stamps pressed into the mould sand after the basic frame pattern had been moulded, so they could be whatever they wanted. I don’t know if they made those pattern stamps or got them from Rust, although no known Rust-made presses (there are only a very few) have them. Rust did use a rosette floral decoration that Hoe also used.

There is a major study buried in the data and records of the two companies that could shed light on the transfer, but I don’t know who is going to undertake to study it — I can’t from 3000 miles away!


That is not the barn. This one was located about 5 miles
from the Kirkland Temple in Waite Hill. Mathew we met
when I had a shop at Burton Village. Blake Sr. The Hoe
151 is at Morgan Paper Conseratory in Cleveland, Ohio
Stop by when in town and you can print on it.