Attachment on C & P Old Style


I’m purchasing an Old Style Chandler & Price in great condition; very excited to get it home. I’m very new to letterpress, and have a question.

Attached to the top of the printer is a multi-keyed…well, attachment, that doesn’t currently work—although there is a mechanism attached that clearly could work, if I had the spring (?) for it.

The gentleman I’m buying the press from (who operated it in the 50s, and bought it as a hobby press 20 years later) says the thing used to be used to add ink when on a large job, but doesn’t quite know how it works.

What is this thing? Easy to get working again? Can anyone point me in the right direction?

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First off, around here, printers are those who operate printing presses…

Your attachment is probably an ink fountain, but a picture would be needed to confirm that. Your description of it being “multi-keyed” is a bit confusing, but you may be referring to a row of thumb-screws that I’ve seen on full sized ink fountains.

An ink fountain is used to supply a steady stream of ink to the ink table for large jobs. The rollers come up the upper roller touches the roller of the ink fountain and grabs a bit of ink. If it is adjusted right it’ll get just enough ink to replace what is used on the impression.

The ink fountain roller is advanced with each impression through a rod connected to the side-arm that advances a gear on the side of the fountain.

Unless you’re printing thousands of items at a time an ink fountain is probably overkill. Plus they will waste a lot of ink and are a bugger to clean. You’re probably better off adding a dab of ink every so often during a run in the 10 o’clock position of the ink table as needed.

Perfect! Thanks! I was referring to the thumb screws…

The previous press owner never used the thing; I may just take it off; it is missing the rod, but it seems like all the other parts are there…maybe I can trade it for something.

(I suspect I’ll pick up the lingo eventually…bummer that I wrote printer-I know better. Ah well; these things take time, right?)


Thanks again, though arie. Really appreciate it.

You might offer it for sale here or on Letpress. I’ve managed to sell all that have come my way fairly readily; especially the smaller “pony” fountains.