samson no 2 8x12 platen jobber

Hey all,

I recently purchased what I am 99% sure is a Samson 8x12 (it looks strikingly like the pic here in the museum section). There’s no nameplate/markings at all on the press.

I’m wondering who else has this press. How have they used it? What does it compare with? Any pictures?

Mine has been extensively repaired in its past & has recently taken a beating: both braces holding the feed table were broken at the bolts, along w/ the treadle. But it definitely seems operational.

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A follow up: I think my original “Samson”-cast arms have been replaced w/ steel ones. Thus my problem identifying the press…rh

I’d love some history on the press as well. I sent Rich a picture of mine but am posting it here as well. I spoke to someone else a year or so ago who had the same press. The only difference is their press had a throw-off lever which mine doesn’t. Were they made at one point without it? Anyone?

image: mypress.jpg


Bueller? Bueller?

Jonsel: This from Hal Sterne, who wrote an impressive book called “Catalogue of Nineteenth Century Printing Presses.”

“It was made by Joseph Watson of New York from 1885 to 1895. The 8 x 12 was a No. 2 and weighed 600 ponds and sold for $115. for the best grade and $85. for the second grade. There is a catalog sheet of it in my book.”

A google search for “Joseph Watson” and Printing, Letterpress, etc. turns up some small bits of info…

But good to know something!

(my first draft of this post called you “Jonsi”—iceland on the brain…)

Thanks, Rich. Found my answer here:

Page 52 says, referring to the Samson press, “It was made with and without a throwoff…”

I have to say, why the heck would you make a platen without a throwoff…

hmm. I wonder if that’s the “second grade.”

In my understanding, throw-off levers were “new” around the late 1800s; before that, I guess they just had better comps.

Right now, I’d rather have a press that didn’t need welding than a throw off lever…

So no one else has this press!?!