Small Press unearthed in Alaska

My neighbor just unearthed a small press in the basement of her parents’ home. It was her grandfather’s who came to Alaska from NYC many many years ago.

It has no identifying marks, and of course came with no chase or type. I’d like to see if I can get her up and running, but first I need to know who she is.

I can take different pictures if need be. The path to my house is glare ice right now, so the press is in my husband’s shop so the lighting isn’t awesome.


image: Left


image: Right


image: Press


image: Top


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Your press could be a “Last and Best” press made by Joseph Watson or a Young America press by Joseph Watson.
Either way, these are uncommon presses. It’s a really nice find if the ink plate is with the press.

my first thought was Young American but a lot of odd stuff, looks well designed for a small press. is that roller hooks hanging down can we see photo how there set up.

You say there’s no chase, but in the middle picture it sure looks to me like there’s a chase in the press.

If you measure the dimensions of the opening inside that chase, what are they?

It looks like there is some writing cast into the side of the handle. If so, could you read it and post it - I can’t read it in the picture.

I hope you can get it going.

Looks like there is a chase.

The side lever casting is marked with a patent date that looks like “Nov. 4(?) 1876”


Looks alot like my Young America Secretary. I will post up some pictures in a few days if you would like to compare.

Hey folks, I’ve gotten all the parts of the press now. I’m waiting until breakup to get it up the hill and into my shop (currently the mud is pretty deep).

More pictures and information to come!

thank you,