Treadles | Hooks | Make your own wooden treadle hook
Long before we had electric motors on our C&Ps & Gordons, or using gas or steam-powered line shafts in larger shops, they were operated by foot-power. The operator would pump the treadle (aka "kick the press") to make it operate.
At the same time, some shops drove their hand presses using wide belts connected to (typically overhead) "line shafts". These line shafts were powered by gasoline engines, steam engines, powerful electric motors and I saw one that was actually driven by a water wheel!.... Around 1900, small steam engines were introduced to power these presses. (their adverts in the printing magazines said "don't kick your press!")
Later on electric motors were added to some presses and then some presses were even made with straight main shafts, so a treadle could not be hung on them. To mount a treadle on one of these presses would require modifications to - or replacement of - the main "crankshaft"...
But most presses made - at least until the 20's or so, came with a treadle as standard equipment.
Many of those treadles - and treadle hooks have been lost over the years. Replacement cast-iron treadles are available - and have been reproduced by Excelsior Press Museum, Bindery Tools, Hern Iron Works and others.
NOTE: New Series Press treadles are slightly different and they two may not be interchangeable - the mount on the back shaft is different. The 8x12 C&P Treadle will also work on a 9x12 Damon & Peets Gordon.
Our friend Sarah bought Rich Polinski's restored 8x12 C&P, but wanted to operate it with a treadle. Her press had the necessary crank, but no treadle or hook... So he built one for her - of wood.
more about this wooden treadle
We also built a wooden treadle for an 8x12 - simpler than this one, built - very quickly - of a 2x10 and available hardware. It was used on the press shown in the musical "Newsies"
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