Looking for advice …

Hi everyone, I found this forum when looking for information on old printing equipment. My father was a printer, typographer, compositor … for over thirty five years. He truly loved the profession and collected a lot of printing stuff over those years. Unfortunately he passed on last year and I am trying to figure out what to do with many of the printing items. There is too much equipment for me to store so I am looking to determine its value, what I can do with it, and find some one whose love of the printing profession was a strong as my father’s. I appreciate your input. I have a Kelsey star 7 x11 press, a Morrison printer saw, Linotype lead, various pieces of type, setup frames, etc. Any information would be appreciated

Log in to reply   14 replies so far

There is a wealth of knowledge on this forum!
We do need some more details before someone can help you.

How soon are you wanting to sell?
Looking for one buyer to take everything or multiple buyers with chance you will be left with some items?
Looking for a GOOD Home for items or max. cash?

The more details you can provide the better the advice you will get.


Loadout situation sometimes affects equipment pricing a great deal. Especially for larger pieces of equipment in difficult loading/moving situations.
(IE: stairs into basement with a bend, or “We built the house around it so it will have to be taken apart” for example being difficult, vs “loading dock height location/straight shot through double doors” being easy)

Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast way of determining equitable pricing for what you have. Letterpress is a very niche market. It’s going to really depend on whether you’re close to someone who really wants what you have or if what you have can be easily and safely shipped. If you’re in, say, Seattle or LA or New York (or similarly Letterpress-heavy cities elsewhere in the world), you may find a decent market for what you have. If you’re in rural North Dakota or the like you may find it harder to find buyers.

Rarity is another thing that can affect the price. For instance, the Kelsey Star press you have is pretty rare. This may adversely affect the price if the press is not complete as parts are quite hard to come by. By contrast, rare (especially pre-20th century) founts of type may wind up being worth quite a lot to the right collectors. If the type is labeled it would likely be a good idea to list what you have to get an idea of what some of it might be worth.

Michael Hurley
Titivilus Press
Memphis, TN

Thanks for all the comments. I understand what I need to gather. I will get some pictures and more information in the next several days and post up again. We are located in Western Pennsylvania and I don’t think we will have to move stairwells or tear the house apart as the equipment is located on the ground floor with a garage door access : -). More to follow….

Hello there, please post some photos so the guys can have a better advice and evaluation of the tools you have.

Thanks to all. I have taken various pictures and will try to post in categories.

First category is the Kelsey Star 7 x 11. It appears to be complete from what I can tell. There are rollers but they need refurbished.

image: Kelsey Press 7 x 11  (12).JPG

Kelsey Press 7 x 11 (12).JPG

image: Kelsey Press 7 x 11  (11).JPG

Kelsey Press 7 x 11 (11).JPG

image: Kelsey Press 7 x 11  (10).JPG

Kelsey Press 7 x 11 (10).JPG


Here are some Miscellaneous items.

image: Teletypesetter (1).JPG

Teletypesetter (1).JPG

image: Number Rolls.JPG

Number Rolls.JPG

Various metal type, some of which is listed below:

30 pt Century Expanded Italic
10 pt Alt Gothic No. 1
18 pt Wedding Text
12 pt Century old style Bold
36 pt 461 Perpetua Bold
Helvetica Medium
30 pt Latin Bold Condensed

6 pt New Caslon
8 pt New Caslon
10 pt New Caslon
12 pt New Caslon
14 pt New Caslon
18 pt New Caslon
24 pt New Caslon
12 Artcraft
18 Artcraft

and some black beauty challenger metal trays.

image: Black Beuat Challenge Trays (3).JPG

Black Beuat Challenge Trays (3).JPG

image: IMG_7977.JPG


I also have some linotype lead, don’t know how many pounds, I will have to weigh. And a lot of other little accessories that I can post up. Thanks for your assistance.

Hello good day, I’m interested in your machine Klesy Star, I can pay for the amount that you mention, the additional pay Texas sent to Rome.
the can put on a pallet and sent to do?
thanks for your attentions.
Alfonso Fuentes.

Can anyone give me a idea of what these items are worth?

Is this the same STAR?

image: STAR ticket.JPG

STAR ticket.JPG

I have a couple different Morrison saws, and I’d like to point out that the saw pictured above has the EXTREMELY rare any-angle miter gauge sitting loose on it, worth more than the whole saw, more than any Hamilton Glider to the right buyer.
With that attachment you can cut any precise angle: any polygon out of strip, plus the furniture for lockup, or plate base to get a specific angle.
I already have this or I’d be making an offline offer. You may not see one of these composing room gems again.