Antique or not?

I own and run a Heidelberg 10x15 windmill for a living. I work by myself, and last year I printed over 1.2 million impressions. It’s got the lockouts, so I think of it as a more recent model. It was built in 1967 when I was only 12.
My problem is within the last month or so, I’ve had two non-printer friends refer to my press as an antique. It really caught me off-guard. After all, many are still used commercially, and I could buy one rebuilt. So my question is, what is an antique? In printing, I think of something over 75 years old, that is obsolete. No longer useful within modern printing applications. Am I right? What say ye? Is it an antique?

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I to work by myself and printed 1.6 million items for the same customer. Then I print an unknown amount of paper for my other business. I have had people say or ask if - is that a antique. I never really thought of it like that other than a machine (tool) I use. I actually own 3. Mine are very well maintained and used. I had a mentor (Tony) tell me on many occasions “this press will pay your bills” I have been running windmills since 1981. Almost everyday mine runs. 8 or more hours. I like them for long runs. Set-up correctly they don’t need to be watched.

Isn’t ‘antique’ anything that is over 100 years old?

My day job is working in a small gun shop and I hear the term “antique” every other day or so. It means different things to different people, but generally they just think the item in question is “old” and possibly “valuable”. Many seem to think that the older it is the more valuable it is, but we won’t get into that.

In my line of work the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives) has a clear definition of what is an antique supplied to them by the US Government; under the Gun Control Act of 1934 an “antique” is basically any gun made prior to 1898. There used to be a specific day in 1897, but of late all the references seem to just use the year 1898. Does not apply to machine guns and certain other guns which are all heavily restricted.

This definition is important to us because any firearm that is an “antique” under the law, and any type of muzzleloading firearm or breech-loader that does not use a cartridge is unregulated. We don’t have to keep records of their sale and there are no federal regulations specifically regulating their use or possession. I.e.: if you have a Winchester Model 1892 that was made in 1893, you have a firearm that is legally defined by the US Government as an “antique” and you are generally excempt from any form of registration or other liberal panacea to make us safe from ourselves. But I digress…

So far as I am aware, nobody has added “printing presses” to the purview of the BATFE, and there is no legal definition neatly outlined in law for printers. Therefore the term “antique” as applied to printing presses is very subjective and a slippery term at best.

Now, should some Orwellian regime some day decide by logic that the pen is mightier than the sword and therefore the printing press must be mightier than the gun, they may define certain classes of printing presses as “antiques”. Presumably one could possess and use such a dangerous device to produce whatever kind of “subversive” materials or “hate speach” one wishes.

I have several firearms that are antiques under the law. I regularly carry a couple of Colt double-action revolvers made in the 1920’s. I drive an automobile that is 20 years old. I don’t know how old my Craftsmen Superior is, but I’m pretty sure it is older than I am. I have a few Speed Grapic cameras around here somewhere and some radios with vacuum tubes in them. All these items work just fine.

In short, age ain’t nothin’ but a number.

Yes, Thomas you are correct.
Although here in the states automobiles are an exception
to that general rule.
best james

daleraby said : “Now, should some Orwellian regime some day decide by logic that the pen is mightier than the sword and therefore the printing press must be mightier than the gun, they may define certain classes of printing presses as “antiques”. Presumably one could possess and use such a dangerous device to produce whatever kind of “subversive” materials or “hate speach” one wishes.”

Actually, that day is already upon many, many people around the world. I spent some considerable time a few years ago studying the traditional printing techniques in Tibet, and learned that it is strictly regulated by the Chinese government…. as are all forms “media” which includes printmaking, woodblock printing, and letterpress. So are the availability of paper, ink, type, plates and presses. Essentially, you can’t even print a flyer without permission.

I’ve also recently learned that in quite a few countries in Eastern Europe and Asia vendors have to keep records of who buys “large quatities” (over 1 ream) of paper… for the same reasons. It makes it easy to crack down on “unlawful” publications.

When you combine the overt restrictions above with some of the “environmental and safety” laws we have here in the US ( especially California) it is quite easy to imagine that Daleraby’s Orwellian Scenerio is not beyond the relm of possibility.

“Daleraby’s Orwellian Scenerio”? Really?

As much as I would like to take credit for sounding the alarm, that was actually done long ago. I did not realize that the controls you mentioned were in effect, but I guess I am not too surprised.

In the US, the shadowy puppet masters are boiling the frogs so to speak, and when the frogs (us) realize what is happening, we will already be cooked.

I suppose that this is not a proper venue for political commentary and I apologize. In the future I will refrain from such subversive hate speach ;)

100 years = 1918, 75 years = 1943, 50 years = 1968.

Somehow, 1943 doesn’t seem terribly “antique”. Old, yes, but not “antique”. I’m comfortable with 100 years.

My first clue that I was “gettin’ on in years” was when I went to the library, was paging through an encyclopedia and found an entry entitled “Desert Storm”. You know you are old when you see the war you were involved with printed in a history text. The photographs I took of that event are in a museum now and the camera I used to take them used actual film. In 2089, I suppose they will both be “antiques”.

I too run my windmill regularily doing commercial job printing with letterpress. I set linotype when needed or make polymer plates for the 10x15 and my vertical miehle which also runs exceptionally well when set up right. I particularly like running envelopes on my windmill two up. I have owned this press since 1970 and have only replaced the rollers once.Will never part with either.

I know how Messrs Adruka in Amersfoort got round the ‘larger paper orders’ problem when the Nazis were in charge in Hoilland during WW2. They simply printed frequently for the Nazis during the day, it happened that the owner spoke fluent German which helped, During the night however he printed other things. eg the RAF air dropped bulk copies of a newspaper produced by the Free Dutch Gov in the UK and our hero printer took still folded copies and printed stop press material in a space on the outside. Presumably on a hand fed platen of some kind. His son has lived in the US with his family for many many years,