Cropper Charlton & Co Peerless No.1 (8” x 5”) questions

I have recently purchased a Cropper, Charlton & Co Peerless No.1 (8” x 5”)

It seems like it only needs new rollers as everything else seems to be intact (the chase is not included in the images but was there when I viewed the press) I was wondering if anyone knows where would be best to purchase these (UK preferably).

The pedal seems to only push down for one rotation then rests on the floor, I can manually move the flywheel round to open and close the platen but the pedal seems to only work the once, anyone have any ideas?

I’m currently in the process of organising a van for pickup from the seller and wondered if anyone had a rough idea of the weight of this press? I found out the Peerless No.2 (7″ x 11″) weighs approx 550lb but figured that is a larger press?

I live on the third floor of new build flats and was wondering if the floorboards would take the weight of this press?

A lot of questions I know but any help would be greatly appreciated!


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Two things. You’ll need to check your loadings on the floor! But if you put the press on spreaders front to back possibly 4 x 2s it will spread weight and also raise the press up and enable the treadle to fully depress.
Some times presses we moved needed this little fix.
Double check with your building lease or management team about putting a press in your flat they may object or give you a lot of grief over it!

Hi there,

Thanks for the speedy response, thats some great advice I will look into that. Do you know if the press is roughly the same weight as the Peerless No.2 at all? So I have an idea of what weight to check with my letting agent.

Is the pedal hitting the floor a common problem, any idea why it does this?


The machine would not have been made or designed whereby the treadle comes below floor level. !
(1) Close inspection will probably show, at each foot/corner there is provision for *Rawl Bolts* for secure anchorage to the solid floor.
(2) Close inspection will probably (also) show that the bottom end of the connecting rod is threaded, to enable the treadle (pedal) to be set for personal preference, to set the pedal for the operators foot to allow the rocking of the foot to obtain optimum pressure whilst the (operators) Heel is still maintaining contact with the floor (Sub Base) =
Think one size does not fit all, i.e. female operator @ size 4-5, male operator @ size 9//10 upwards.

Our Cropper Minerva (treadle//pedal) is set, via the threaded con rod, to just contact a small square of litho blanket on the floor.??

With the Cropper Minerva & an Haddon Swift, (at different times and circumstances,) it was/has been deemed expedient, to use timbers in transverse mode rather, than fore and aft, BECAUSE of the flywheel making the whole very very prone to balance and lean to the left.

Ideally, transverse timbers with double the overhang/support to the left (flywheel side)
PLUS, in every case and/or where logically possible, transverse timbers straddling the underfloor joists, rather than running parallel with, - think Noughts & Crosses grid.!

The Cropper Charlton press is a copy of the Golding Pearl, and in the 5x8 size the Pearl weighs I believe about 400-500 lbs (I moved one alone fully assembled with a two-wheeled “hand truck”), Your press looks to be a bit heftier, but I would estimate about 500lbs. I would use something like a sheet of 3/4 inch plywood under the press both to spread the weight a bit and to protect the apartment floor. But unless your flat is very rickety you should not have a problem with the weight — it’s similar to a rather heavy person sitting in an armchair.


If you want new roller and truck set. you will need to order from USA, they are in stock. shipping is not that expensive I ship over there a couple times a month.
look me up .

Remove the flywheel, unbolt the body from the base (4 bolts) and you have 3 pieces to move. Best to have two people lift the main body for safety. Can be moved in an estate car.

Screw to two bits of 2 x 4, will go on a wooden floor, make sure across the joists.

You are missing the drawers that slot into the base.

For Peerless 1 read Golding Pearl 1

Try Allmake Rollers

I’ve not used them but I understand that Lyme Bay press are happy with them.

I have used allmake rollers and they are very good.
You will need to know the diameter of the rollers required and they will recover the stocks you appear to have in your photos..
Speak to Diane at Allmake.

Thank you all for such great advice!

I’ll get in touch with All Make Rollers, there was two stocks and roller runners on the press and an extra two stocks lying in a box of type that came with it.

That’s great to know the press can be easily disassembled into three parts, I may be able to split this over two cars to transport it home, saves hiring a van!

Does anyone know how the flywheel is removed and what tools I will need? The main body seems straight forward enough.

Thanks again,

The fly wheel will be held on with a single bolt, probably with a square head. As the fly wheel is at the end of the shaft I’m guessing it will pull off.

I recently sold a pearl 8x5 and the fly wheel had a key that slid into the shaft and was held in place by a bolt that went through to keep it in place, I must have had it for about 40 odd years and it came with the old gelatine rollers and when they where no longer usable I had to make do with adana 8x5 rollers but I had to use the trucks off a 5x3 or 6x4 which are both the same size and drill out the centre so the adana 8x5 shafts would fit, not a lot to spare on the shafts once in the hooks but as long as you keep an eye on it it worked ok until I got another set of rollers.

Once the flywheel and feed boards were off we moved the machine with a metal sack barrow and put it in his estate car flat supported by something he brought with him, I did put wooden bearers on mine also just to make it that bit higher.


Thank you all for you responses, I also have an Adana 8x5 and wondered whether the rollers could transfer as the ends of the cores fit through the Peerless trucks but don’t have the ridges the Peerless cores have to lock in place.

I am currently cleaning up the press and removing any built up ink/grime, I will post updates here shortly.

While cleaning up the press I noticed a number on the chase bed and wondered if this is used to date the press? Does anyone know how to accurately date this model?


Small (but not insurmountable) problems with using Adana rollers on other similar size machines :- All clamshell Adana,s have Rails of different heights, from the 3 x 2, 5 x 3, 6 x 4, 8 x 5, & H. S. 3
= 8 1/2” x 5 1/2”
Across the range the rails do not conform to a logical progressive sequence.

*** Examples of every size on sight.*** (author)

Have quoted the variations on B.P. in the past.
The anomolies are overcome, size for size, by the compound in every case, (rubber or polyurethane) being substantially smaller in diameter to the trucks.

Across the range, (generally) the Model designation is cast into, and part of the main frame, during manufacture.
A few earlier 8 x 5,s had the serial number, as a brass plaque with archimedes type screws/studs - rear L/H. side base.
Generally, all other,s across the range have the serial number stamped into the top of the platen proper, found under the Tympan bale arm, usually in the form of an Alphabetical PREFIX followed by 4 or 5 figures, on sight at time of post 8 x 5, - C 10717.!!

Adana/Caslon may be able to verify time line, from Your serial number. ?

Generally, All clamshell table top Adana,s have the roller stocks manufactured from machine-able grade IMPERIAL size steel rod,1/4” 3/8” etc.
Generally, across the range, the trucks were of bakelite construction and in the case of the 8 x 5, and occasionally with the H.S. 2 (6 x 4) the trucks in bakelite were compound height ( 2 stage) and could/can be turned, reversed, to bring the rollers lower, when required.??

We have seen and on sight, bakelite trucks that are either just close fit on the stocks, or in some cases, one per truck, tiny grub screw fitting, more so to stop the cores revolving inside the trucks, with a heavier forme and inking.

With standard size parallel stocks, the compound acts as an abutment inwards and the hooks, (generally) constrict the trucks outwards.!

We have on sight, and have had RE-COVERED a pair of very early Adana 8 x 5” stocks that were manufactured from 1/2” steel stock and turned down at the ends to accomodate the compound trucks at 1/4”, BUT it was (up to a point) an expensive mistake, maybe because with thicker steel stock and thinner compound available, less compound was the problem.

Not a 100% waste, turned 2 small adaptor sleeves to fit the Rollers to the H.S.3. - - 1/2” bigger in both directions.

Works well on the H.S. 3, but only overprinting Business Cards as a very light forme. - - - Good Luck. H. V.

That’s some great information thank you again, I have enquired with Caslon about if they are able to source rollers/parts and All Make Rollers about making recovering the cores I have. I have attached the picture of the number on the chase bed if anyone could shed a light? Finding it hard to date this exact press as there doesn’t seem to be a lot of documentation of the Peerless No.1 online.


Image attached:

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Kris, Do`nt quite know -how to- but their is in East Anglia direction a Well Versed Gentleman, one Bob Richardson,! who is a mine of info re small British Letterpress, & more.

www Google will lead You to Him. Good Luck. H.V. >Mick.<

I have a Cropper and Charlton Peerless #1 press. It’s a beautiful machine. Well named, in my humble opinion! Mine originated in a printers’ furniture makers in Cleckheaton, Yorkshire circa. 1910. The rollers for a US Golding Pearl #1 fit it perfectly. Overall length 11.188”, 9” face and diameter 1.375”.

I do sometimes use Adana rollers (with a narrow core) on it for printing images, but for text you really need the correct ones, ie the Golding Pearl version with steel runners (or trucks, as they call them over there). Ramco in the USA are happy to send to the UK although be sure to add around 10% on for customs import duties.

I’ve found nine different copies of the Old Style Pearl. made by various UK makers. They are all shown here: