Heidelberg Windmill - differences between years of production?

Is there a significant difference between years of production of Heidelberg Windmill for example 1957 - 1959 or even 1970?
Does anybody can give Pros and Cons between Heidelberg Windmill and his derivate the ADAST GRAFOPRESS. Can anyone share his experience working on both Heidelberg Windmill and the ADAST GRAFOPRESS.

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From 1950 to 1985 all models have bearings on the forme rollers.
1950-1959 = Black ball
1959-1964 = Red ball
1965-1985 = Red ball with lockup rollers

The 1974 and up were incorporated a safe plate, over the flywheel cover, like a little fence (so the pressman doesn’t jump inside the press while running it).


Well, this isn’t quite accurate—my 1953 Heidelberg 10x15 does not have roller bearings on the form rollers.


There are differences between the european models and the american models.

For example: The european models have a different powder blower then the american model, and don’t have a light ranging anywhere.

All european models after 1950 have bearings on the forme rollers.

Have you checked your serial number to be sure your press is 1953?

PS.: The free information that I have posted comes from my experience. I have de facto worked with 1950 to 1974 models.

I did operate all those models, touched them. And an old 1930s model that was very old, with welded parts; quick and had a huge bite on the paper.

This is an old thread, but thought I’d throw in a comment as I have (what I believe to be) a 1953 model 10x15 windmill, serial number 47725N. I don’t know what the ‘N’ suffix indicates, but given all instruction plates on the press are in German, I suspect this was imported to Canada and not made for the North American market. Does anyone know what the suffix relates to? (E seems to be NA/export models, I’m told)

The rollers most certainly do not have any bearings.

I don’t know of any authoritative serial number to year mapping online, but those I have seen put this squarely as a 1953 model.


What does the serial number tell us?
Can anyone explain this?

The serial number will tell you the year of production.


I ran a ADAST GRAFOPRESS GPC windmill 10 x 15
(I think it was a 10 x 15 - it was 30 + years ago)
the whole press was of lower quality materials, for instance the feed table and back stop was made of sheet metal, easily damaged if not handle with care.
it came out of the box with a spring pulling the griper cam together (for shipping purpose) if not removed before operating it will melt down the cam.
the good things were it had a lighter chase (again easily damaged)
it was just as easy to set up as a Heidelberg,
it was more compact, less of a reach, and you could adjust the rollers while the press was running stock, a control dial just above the impression arm.
a few other thing all relating to a over all reduction of cost.
adding a couple of advances with a reduction in weight.
i have been running and repairing letterpress for 40 years, in many shops.
and I have never seen or herd of that type of press since.

I believe that roller bearings on the impression rollers didn’t come around until 1954 or 1955 in the US market. I think the bearings were part of a design change that also saw the addition of the “cardboard” feeder adjustment.

A serial number is a far more accurate means of describing a particular Windmill, especially if listing for sale.