Press Identification - platen press found in Greece

We are trying to identify a small platen press found in Greece and purchased about 1915. I have posted photos and some thoughts about this press at in hopes that someone may recognize this press and help us identify its source and history.

Thanks for looking.
- Alan

image: greekpress.400w.jpg


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Greetings Alan, from the looks of it you have a “La Debutante” the site has more info she sure is a cutie-pie.Best James

This is an Omicron Model Tarsus IV platen press made by the Spartan Machine Company of Thermopylae, 1890-1900. The company motto was “En arche ein ‘o Logos”. These presses were quite popular for standard job work though printed best when using Lydian. Its only known shortcoming was roller adjustment, the experience of which was commonly referred to as an odyssey.


Rich, I stand corrected (actualy I’m sitting). Gosh I was so hoping for debutante statis with this press identity. Is it possible the belgians copied the press from the greeks
or the other way around.Can you reveal your sources?
You would think the Greek manufacture of press would
make certain that faces like Spartan,Poliphilus, or Greco
Adornado would print better than Lydian. My guess is that
these press” printined like crap until Lydian was invented
in 1938. I am also thinking if the pressmans name was Homer the odyssey would be more important. Best James

I was sworn to eternal secrecy by the Beard of Zeus and can’t reveal my sources. However, one may consider that such a masculine looking press would try its best to make a good impression with such a type.


Rich, what if I loaned Zeus my razor, And you shared with
the briar press community your sources. Please enlighten
me about the lurid details you describe about the Omicron
Tarsus IV. I was considering the roller adjustment issue?
Type high type 1890-1900 no photopolymer back then why adjust the rollers? Weren’t most platens popular with standard job work? Finally a curved spoked flywheel and Flared feet are hardly masculine,I thought all press’
were of female gender because of their ability to reproduce.
Best James

James, Rich - This is great! Thanks for the info. I’m sure our friend Petros - and visitors to their musem will be as well.

and sure does look as though it’s related, but this image shows an improved ink roller system - which is no surprise.

But about the ink rollers. It is very clear to me how roller adjustment could be a problem. This press uses the same clumsy roller mount /adjustment system as most Kelsey presses. The only way to adjust them is to adjust the spring tension. At least some of the Kelseys have a nut. This one actually has no adjuster at all - just the spring.

But in any case, this press is destined for a museum and I am hoping that Petros will see these excellent comments and adjust their display accordingly.

Thanks again for your help in demystifying this mystery machine…

I’ll update my page - and this posting as more information surfaces.

- Alan