Old Heidelberg Restoration project

Hello all,
I have been a long time reader and appreciator of Briar Press, but this is my first time actually joining the forum and posting something.

I am not new to letterpress, been working in it for 3 or so years… so I am still a bit green. Primarily I use my old style C&P for making weird art prints.

But I recently rescued this Heidelberg Windmill. it was is disrepair and mothballed years ago. It is a very early machine. The guard is labeled with HS (Heidelberg Superspeed I am pretty sure) serial number 30111. So from what I have read I am thinking late thirties production date. (edit: correction to late forties)

I am in no hurry to get it all to operational condition, and I know it is an uphill battle. But I like tinkering with old machines so I don’t mind.

My question is concerning the Ink train area, this model is so much different than the later model set-ups. I know it lacks the bearings on the form rollers. But the later years this machine was used it was set up for hot foil. And I know it is missing some pieces and parts.

I have read that these machines did not have the inking distributor.. and were designed a bit different. Can anyone who know take a look at these photos and give me some insight? perhaps some photos of a complete machine from the same era? so I know what I am looking for.

Thanks so much for any helpful nuggets of info or advice.

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You are missing the fountain, or if you are English - the duct. Also missing the ductor mechanism. Other than that and removable bushings for distribution rollers, its much the same and yes has an oscillation drum. Your machine is made in 1948 and most likely from parts made prior to the war. If it was a 1930’s machine it would be something like 15000.

oh, okay thank you for the information. So I will be on the lookout for an ink fountain and ductor mechanism. thanks Nick

Good luck with this machine, it is worth fixing; without the fountain, try inking up the cylinder with a hand roller to get it going. One comment, “HS” on the machine I believe refers to the name for the company at that time “Schnellpressenfabrik Heidelberg”. You may get lucky, I found a date code stamped on the back of the impression counter on my pre-war machine.

image: Heidelberg impression counter.JPG

Heidelberg impression counter.JPG

Oh Thats good info, I checked my counter and no luck finding a date. I plan on running tests etc without the fountain until I can find the missing components.

If anyone has some nice photos of the complete ink train on a press of the same era as mine. I would appreciate it.

It looks like this:


i operate a 19000 series metallball the guard is labeled with HS looks similar to your machine., And a newer version redball the distribution mechanism is the same atached to the fountain ductor and the right arm that holds the formrollers.

Hey there!

I run a very similar machine - I got it up and running a couple months ago after decades of non-operation. I don’t have the serial number offhand but it’s short and begins with a 3 like yours, and same “safety” guard… I also lack the fountain, but guess what?! you totally don’t need a fountain.

Feel free to get in touch with any questions, I’m a huge nerd and would love to talk! If you have’t got the ink train sorted out yet, I can help with that.


Hell All,
I have started a register for letterpress machinery.
Please feel free to add your machinery details and also help to date machinery.
Please take a look at:

Thank you

Hellow, i’ve rescued this kind of SH press 2 years ago.. i’ve sold them since i have the windmill 1982. it took me 2 years to tame the beast. Escpecially in Indonesia where not many people familiar with letterpress.

Here’s the ink fountain looks like.
Good luck restoring the 1945 beast.


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