Collie’s Paragon platen press?

Hi everyone

I’ve just aquired a Collie’s Paragon 10 x 15 platen press. I’m hoping someone knows a little about this make. The previous owner has estimated it to be about 80 years old, and we’ve found nothing on the net.

It could be that a company called “Collie” or “Collie’s Paragon” created their own press based on the expired patents, or that they’ve rebranded a Chandler & Price NewStyle (which looks very similar). I think “Collie” may have been an ink company once, as well.

I’d love to at least work out how old it is.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

image: 2104774995_78655b9ec4.jpg

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Hi…It is a Chandler and Price…guessing early 1920’s. You should be able to find a serial number on the press…which you can prob match online to find a more accurate date.

Thanks mschwartz34. I’ve looked for a number in the upper left part of the bed, but can’t find anything. Suggestions? Would it definetly have a serial number?

You can also check for a seriel number on the back left of the press (if you are facing it). I would think it would be on there somewhere…but it could be tough to see with years of wear, ink and grease. Best of luck!

You may be able to find one stamped into the rocker shaft under the feed board. The one connecting the gear and cam. My press has a serial number and patent numbers with dates there.

Looks like this is new series C&P. The side frames were reversed in 1911 and the spokes on the flyheel were straight. The press was built lower to suit the newcomers to the trade…female press feeders! The name plate (the piece holding the two roller arms should be inscribed “CHANDLER & PRICE CO./CLEVELAND, O. U.S.A.” I believe the U.S.A. was added in 1911. For more on this subject see “Printing Presses History and Development from the 15th Century too Modern Times” by James Morn, Also “Catalogue of Nineteenth Century Printing Presses” by Harold E. Sterne. Also there are some web sites under “Chandler & Price.”

Thanks everyone.
I’ve been over every inch of the press numerous times now that I’m working on it daily, and no serial number. The name plate has COLLIE’S PARAGON rather than C&P details. Apparently Collies used to be a printing company, so I guess they used C&P expired patents to make this press themselves.

It sure looks like a C & P except for the nameplate on the front and the horizontal lever below the throw-off lever. I can’t tell for sure, but it looks like the nameplate is attached rather than having been a part of the casting. It is unlikely that anyone would go to the great effort of making the castings and machining the parts to make a copy of the C & P and only make one. If someone made several of them, or lots of them, there would be more around and someone in the LP community would know of them. The C & P will definately have the name cast into the piece connecting the two arms at the rear of the press. It is possible that that piece was broken and replaced with a specially fabricated piece, but extremely unlikely. The C & P will have a number punched into the upper left corner of the bed. It may have become filled with grunk over the years. Wirebrush that area clean and use a strong light to look.
If it isn’t a C & P you have a mystery. If it prints well, just enjoy it.

The serial number on my C&P 8x12 OS was in the upper left corner of the press bed but covered with ink and dirt, etc. You really need to take a green scrub pad or steel wool and clean this area (and the rest of the bed!) to see the numbers which are stamped into the iron. Also, as posted above it may be on the platen shaft. But it looks from the photo that this shaft is covered in rust and would need to be cleaned off to bare metal to see the manufacturer’s name and serial number if they are there. My press has the C&P name there but no serial number.

Many machinery manufacturers sold their machines to dealers who attached their own, and often quite fancy, company name plates to the machine. Some manufacturers selling to “the trade” even kept their own names off the machine altogether and the dealer sold the machine using their own marketing and business name (e.g. Richardson’s “The Acme” potato peeler). Sears, Roebuck and Co. did this a lot at the turn of the century. A top quality product could then be sold at a cheaper price without undercutting the name brand and in fact opened a secondary market for the manufacturer. The large nameplate on the front of your press makes it look like one of these.

As suggested in a previous post, look at the back of the press at the rectangular casting between the two roller arms and attached with four bolts. This may have the machine manufacturer’s name moulded into it.


inky - the name cast into the piece connecting the two arms is COLLIE’S PARAGON (ie, cast into the press, not an attached plate). The name plate on the front is removable, yes. I’ve also cleaned the whole bed up, and no number. It has no grease or paint covering it.

According to everything I’ve seen, it’s just like a C&P, but the lack of C&P name cast into the frame, and no serial number makes me think it can’t possibly be a true C&P.

rpolinski - forgive my ignorance, but what exactly is the platen shaft? The photo here is before it was shipped to my place, and has since been cleaned up well. As far as finding a serial number, all I can think of is that it has been repainted grey at some stage of it’s life, and the number is under that. There is no paint on the bed though.

Thanks for your help everyone. I’d really like to date the press and know a little more about it’s history (I just can’t let it go!).

You don’t say where the press is located — are you in the USA or UK or elsewhere? If UK I would guess that Collie’s was a UK firm that produced a press either under license from C&P or as a knock-off, a common practice. The name says to me “British”. Location might be a clue! Also, is there any sign of other paint color in the chipped areas like on the platen lock under the feed table? I’m guessing that is the original color.

I’m in Australia, but most of our presses were imported at some stage, so I can’t tell where it was originally from.

The grey appears to be it’s first paint colour. No sign of another colour, or another application of grey, underneath.

Sorry about that, I described the shaft wrong. I meant to refer to the large shaft below the delivery table that has the large gear on the right end.

Now that Ad Lib mentions it, and you confirm you’re in Australia, I would be willing to bet the press is in some way English in origin. It might have been made by Chandler and Price and imported to England or manufactured in England under their license. Or it might be a C and P knockoff.

In the late 70’s and early 80’s Asian-made woodworking tools started being imported to the US in large numbers. Very often the manufacturing process consisted of taking a US-made machine apart and using the cast iron parts themselves as foundry patterns. Not that this is the case here but there’s certainly nothing new under the sun…

In any case, it looks like you have a great press.


the press so is pretty… i guess even the way she prints. C&P and their knock-offs are really cool. have fun!

Does anyone else find the similarity of initials suspicious?—Chandler & Price/C&P/Collie’s Paragon—is this a clue or a coincidence?

Could have been a planned marketting technique by C&P. The part that says collies par.. can be easily altered . If it’s real important historically get a C&P part and see if it’s interchangable. Many of John Thomson’s presses were the same as Colt’s even when he was no longer involved.
Lots of that stuff used to happen as patents expired.

Hi, I also have a Collies Paragon Press. Apparently after the second world war no presses could be imported into the country and the Collies Paragon was made inAustralia. It is a copy of the out of patent Chandler and Price and so its CP name. Natalie