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Could you take some photos for us?

If anyone can answer your questions and/or help you with this it has to be Steve Pratt of Pratt Pressworks.


Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY


Thanks for the images. I would think that having a press like that made would have cost a fortune in the 1980s.

What kind of finishing work did it require? Does it print well now?


That is a remarkable story — I am astounded that you persisted and finally got it right. The press must have originally been made purely for window dressing.

Where are you located? If in North America I would like to be sure this beauty is recorded in the North American Hand Press Database.

Devil’s Tail Press - I agree with Ad Lib. That is a remarkable story and you certainly had a lot of patience to restore the press and make it work.

I have a similar press shown below, and thought you might be interested in furthering your project by seeing the stand that it rests on. I purchased the stand with my press and was told it was a reproduction of the original that was sold with the press. What that means is a bit vague to me. Is this a reproduction of the stand that was made and sold by Hopkinson & Cope, by one of the subsequent manufacturers of the the press? a stand made for a print shop? I have seen similar stands in old etchings, but don’t really know the origin.

If you are interested in making one, I can send you detailed photos of the stand. My platen is about 14 3/4” x 9 1/4,” so the measurements for your press might be different. If you were able to put your press together, I have no doubt you could make or have made, a similar base to fit your press.

If you can shed any light on the origin of this stand, that would certainly be appreciated.

image: albion_on_base.jpg


Sorry — I neglected to check your membership listing, Paul — and I do have the press recorded. Thanks for the great story!


Devil’s Tail - As shown below, the press says “Jon & Jer Barrett, Exors of R W Cope, Finsbury London.” I am assuming this was made after Cope died. I suspect that you will know more about this than I do.

The date on the cap reads 1842. However, there is another number on the fulcrum that says 1862. Since this is a part that gets a lot of wear, could it have been replaced in 1862? if so would they date a part like this? if not, is this a part number or could it be a serial number of the press?? I see no other numbers on the press.

Lots of questions:) PS - Will post photo(s) and measurements of the stand or send them directly to you. Need a few days.

image: albion_maker.jpg




Here’s a photo of the stand. For anyone using this plan, be sure to adjust the measurements to fit your particular press.

These pictures don’t do it justice. It has beveled edges and was made with what I think is called mortise and tenon joints, but correct me if my carpentry vocabulary is not as informed as my printing vocab.

I did look up the press you mentioned in the Journal of the Printing Historical Society. It does look similar only it has a single diagonal cross support in the back. I can’t imagine why this would be needed.

image: albion_stand.jpg


image: albion_stand_detail.jpg


I believe the consumer price index would show that $1,750 in 1982 would be $3,777 in 2008.


There is a Harrild & Sons Albion on what appears to be an original stand on eBay UK at the moment. I only mention it because there are some very nice photos.

Listing is here: http://cgi.ebay.com/Antique-1861-Albion-Floorstanding-Printing-Hand-Pres...

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

image: image-1.jpg

image: image.jpg


I too have my doubts if they will realize their asking price….. but they ARE nice photographs. Even if one isn’t going to buy the press, it’s worth a look-see.

I’ve been collecting press pics and info from the Internet for several years now, and assembling a scrapbook of every different press mechanism I’ve run across. I’ve got several hundred different machines in my database. They come in very handy when rebuilding an old machine, or when creating a new press from scratch.

I typically view the historical data as suspect, though…. at least until I’ve verified the source. It appears that a lot of folks simply don’t know how old their machines actually are.

Beautiful presses, I have recently bought a Frederick Ullmer Albion and would be very grateful if anyone could help me justing the print hight. The Press was set up for letterpress but I want to do lino prints so would like to reduce print hight.

Any help would be appreciated.

Regards Russell

image: P1000176.JPG


I own a 1980 Frederick Ullmer Albion (tabletop, black mat finish) which I have never used. It is still in my printing workshop - a sleeping beauty. Would anyone be interested in buying it and what would be like a correct price - I am a bit confused.


It probably would be better for you to use an aluminum plate of the proper height to raise the unmounted linoleum up to standard printing height (close to .918) for use. At least you have a good deal of room to play as packing can be adjustd greatly on this press as the impression is completely vertical.

Take a look at an industrial supply catalog and you will find aluminum plate in various thickness which may work well for you. Probaly will not need to be milled down if it is close to the proper height.



From this old discussion (2 years), it sounds like these presses need a lot of work to make them useful. That’ll knock the interest level down. But, as with all presses, it depends on where the press is (country, state, city), are you willing to ship it, will you take nice pictures to show it off, do you have all the parts (including the stand), etc?

Probably you’ll get the best price by taking wonderful pictures, being willing to help with shipping, answering your email, living in the US, and advertising it widely (here, on ebay, craigslist, and perhaps some of the schools).