Please help with identifying my press

Hello, new to Briar Press and new to letterpress printing as a whole.

Was given this press by a friend of my fathers, I’m an 18 year old student studying graphic design. He didn’t know anything about the press accept that it is possibly a kelsey. After a bit of research i’m not sure if it is, could not find any name or serial numbers on the press. The chase size is approx 10x8 (please note this is not the chase that is next to the press in the images).

Anyway, it would be great if someone could help with identification or any other information. The press has no rollers as of yet so i’m not entirely sure where to start in terms of sourcing them.


image: Screen shot 2011-06-22 at 00.13.57.png

Screen shot 2011-06-22 at 00.13.57.png

image: Screen shot 2011-06-22 at 00.14.28.png

Screen shot 2011-06-22 at 00.14.28.png

image: Screen shot 2011-06-22 at 00.33.10.png

Screen shot 2011-06-22 at 00.33.10.png

image: Screen shot 2011-06-22 at 00.33.16.png

Screen shot 2011-06-22 at 00.33.16.png

Log in to reply   7 replies so far

Looks a lot like an Adna. You can check the yellow pages on this site for places to get supplies, if you give us an idea of where you are located maybe someone can give you the names of suppliers close to you. Dick G.

It does look similar to an early Adana or prototype. The handle looks like it is installed upside down. Seems to me it would be hard to hand feed the press that way. Anyone across the pond have ideas?
You could try contacting Caslon, here is a web site

It’s definitely an Adana, Model 3. I helped a friend of mine to get one in working order again. I know of two of them in Scotland. The lever (the handle of the girl with a Kluge) is fitted the correct way around, to the left. I got dimensions for the rollers, the cores and the trucks as we had to make them up. Attached the pictures of it’s cousin in Edinburgh before restoration.

image: Adana_No3_closed.jpg


image: Adana_No.3_open.jpg


Hi Thomas, that is of great help. My college lecturer had said it looked like an early Adana. Unfortunately, the press did not come with any rollers (not even the old ones).

I have been looking for more information about the press now I know the make and model, not as easy to come by as I first would have thought, do you know if these are a rare model? All i could find was a wiki entry claiming that Models 3 and 4; larger presses aimed at professional printers (1927).

Thanks for your help again, looking forward to the challenge of restoring my press to working order (there doesn’t seem to be a great deal that needs doing, fingers crossed)

For rollers I would suggest measuring the distance center to center of the roller hook openings on one side, subtract about 1/4 inch or so to get an even distance, and that is the maximum diameter of the rollers (probably close to or an even inch). The roller core diameter is the width/diameter of the openings in the roller hooks, and the core diameter is also the inside diameter of the roller trucks, the outside diameter of which is the same as the rollers. Measure the distance between the surface of the bed rails and the bed carefully — it should be exactly or a very little less than type high (put a metal straightedge across between the rails and measure from it to the bed). If about 1/16 inch or less under type high that should work fine, if less you’ll want to build the rails higher. The length of the roller cover (rubber is preferred) can be the diameter of the ink disc, centered on the cores, and the length of the cores should be slightly more than the outside to outside measure across the press between the roller hooks.

Hope that helps! Regards, Bob

I hate to disagree but this is most definitely not a Model Number 3. The Models 2, 3 & 4 were all flat bed machines.
It certainly has a lot of the Hallmarks of an Adana and I would suggest this is the Octavo Platen Precision Model 99 manufactured in April 1933.
There was a Crown Quarto Machine/Model 3A produced in 1938 but this was largely made from sheet steel pressings.

I acquired one of these a few months ago, it is the heaviest Adana table top weighing in at something like 160lbs. Your press is missing its grippers and the lay gauge.
On the top edge of the platen is a bar that rotates about 270 degrees with a lever on, shown in the second photo. I presume this is for fixing and tightening the top sheet, anybody know how it works? Unfortunately I lost one of the joint pins in transporting it home and have still to get an engineer to make a replacement.

I know this as an Adana 3, the design is basically the same as the Adana 1 and the Adana 2.