Bill's email to Alan:
The C & P
Press serial number is 17094, which
is on the upper left on the flat plate that comes down onto the plate
that comes up from the bottom.
(#17904 was manufactured in 1905.)
The press has a foot "trundle" (treadle) to
be operated by foot power, and does not appear to have been setup with
any electric motor in any way.
The Press seems to operate very freely, and there is
no rust, but
appears to have a heavy accumulation of ink on most of the parts.
On the outside of the main frame, the original gold "pin" striping can
still be seen. It appears to be complete, and was stored in a
climate controlled environment until Saturday morning. It's
currently in my shed, setting on pallets off of the ground, where at
least it will remain dry and clean as best as I can provide.
with it, I also have a C & P
paper cutter, Serial Number
5899, imprinted on the cutting surface. (1903-1904) It too seems to be
working order and all parts move freely. This thing is almost big
enough to be a guillotine. The Lever is over 5 feet long.
There are three
cabinets of type. (circa
three cabinets must weigh about 500 pounds each. The one
big wooden cabinet appears to have type up to 36 point, and multiple
fonts...and then there's some other wood and lead blocks with
artwork. Two of the three cabinets of type seem organized, the
third has a lot of mixed up stuff, and we have a 5 gallon bucket of
miscellaneous type that was in a sink, apparently washed but never
really put back and organized. My guess is that there is at least 1000
pounds of type in the three cabinets.
I really would like to have the time to put all of
this together, but,
I do not have the time, as I have two young daughters, and a demanding
job. But, I really appreciate the craftsmanship of these old
machines, that seem to still be in working order, and that fact they
are somewhere around 100 years old.
I'd rather these machines and accessories go to someone whom would put
them to use than see it go to the melting pot. They just don't
make things like this anymore.
The location of this Press and other equipment is 30 miles east of St.
Louis, MO, in Illinois. I do have a 16 foot trailer and could
load everything onto it and deliver it. I'd be willing to drive and
help unload it all if the new owner would be willing to pay a
reasonable transport fee.
It's just that they better have a fork lift on the other end, and
many very strong people. We used a couple of heavy dollies, and a
tractor with a loader to get them off of the trailer and three of my
best friends to get this loaded and unloaded.
Director of Information Systems & Services
Edwardsville Community School District #7
I got the photos. Thanks. The press is an early Series 10x15
C&P. #17904 was manufactured in 1905. It's a beaut and I'm glad you
it. It will certainly be appreciated by it's next operator.
you're correct. It was not made to be motor driven. The flywheel shaft
only extends a few inches to the right. Typically, powered
presses of this style have about 5" more of shaft to hold a drive wheel
on the right side. This one does not have that second wheel, so the
to motorize it would be by driving from the large flywheel, which is
not recommended. My guess is that this press has been treadle-operated
since 1904... Damn. I'd like to have this one for myself...
The treadle is of particular interest. It looks perfect and the metal
on both machines looks to be in great shape. These presses are
typically either rusty or ink-covered or oily with paper dust embedded
oil. Both of these look to be clean in every way.
The cutter looks good, too. It's the old style C&P
cutter with that
long arm, hinged at the floor. Later ones like this typically hinged at
the level of the paper table.
#5899 could be either a 23" cutter made in 1904 or, if it has a 26"
opening for the paper, it would have been one made in 1903. The 23"
models were made from 1897-1925, then came back in the same
size, but with an updated design in 1957 and made until 1964. The 26"
models were made from 1897-1907 with a curved yoke, then
made with a flat yoke from 1908-1934.
There's no commercial market for either the cutter or the press due to
safety concerns, but they are ideal for someone like myself or any of
the many non-commercial printers working in garages, barns and
"studios" around the country, or any of the nuevo printers doing
"Letterpress Wedding Stationary" which is all the rage right now.
BUT, anyone who operates these two must be forewarned. The press can
easily squash the fingers of a careless feeder and the cutter does not
appear to have the safety catch found on later models.
These machines can be operated safely, but it must be by a
conscientious and alert operator. I've been using both since I was a
kid and I have all
of my fingers...
So those are the warnings.
I saw a corner of the Hamilton cabinet as well - once again - in great
shape. AND, it has the sloping work surface top that makes a real
difference to someone who will be making up forms. This is the style I
use. That top comes off rather easy, by the way - in case you didn't
already find out, it simply rests on top of the wooden cabinet and is a
separate piece. Just be careful that it does not come off unexpectedly
while moving it around.
The type is another issue entirely. Some could be priceless, some could
be worth $.50/pound. It all depends upon the faces and the condition of
the letters themselves. The metal is called 'type metal' (aka lead) but
is actually an alloy of lead, tin and antimony, with 50-88% being lead.
In the case of ATF foundry type, about 70% lead, the rest being tin and
antimony. But, as an alloy, it has unique characteristics of its own
and is not really 'lead' to a metallurgist.
So. You have rescued some treasures. If the type was being washed, it
was most likely high quality stuff from ATF and worth cleaning. Sorting
it would be a labor of love for someone like myself, but a tedious
chore for most normal people. I don't know what to suggest about the
type at the moment, but we can go into details about that later.
Type is still being cast by a number of private foundries around the
country, but only one man - Theo Rehak of http://www.daleguild.com/ - is
casting ATF quality type using their metal formula and actually using
old custom-made Barth casters. Most of the others casting type in the
today are using high lead content 'soft metal' in Monotype or Thompson
casters designed to make type for one-time use. ATF type was touted at
being good for "a million impressions", whereas the soft metal was
designed to be used once, then remelted and recast.
The odd ornaments and cuts are in a field of their own and precious in
any case - as long as they represent usable images or universal
designs. If you could organize them and get some more photos- close up
a distance, I could tell you more.
For our purposes, a full shot of the press and cutter
would also be
helpful to describe them- although you did pick the critical shots I
needed to see to glean this information. A front shot of the type
cabinet would be good as well. And, shots of the type in the cases can
also tell me a lot. I can often recognize if the type is ATF or
Monotype just from the way it lays in the case, the number of nicks on
the cut of the 'feet' and the 'color' I see in the metal.