Anybody know what this press would need to get up and running?

There’s a press on Ebay and since I’m brand new I have almost no idea what I’m looking at/for. If anyone could let me know what they think, it would be greatly appreciated. link below

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The seller talks of the type being ‘ALREADY PLACED ON THE ROLLER’. I would presume that the type itself is curved.
With the majority of type available being flat this appears to be a speciality within a speciality!
If there is a solid bed on the cylinder you may be able to mount polymer plates to it but I’m just guessing.
Looks like an interesting project for someone with experience in restoration, machining and printing techniques.
For somebody just starting out whose primary objective is to print, I would recommend an already operational press with a demo by the seller.

Cool machine, these machines take a special type, the type slids into the groves on the cylinder. its hand cranked, there should be rollers in the back of the machine to ink the type. You don’t see these come up very often on e bay, i think the type would be hard to find, i’ve been in letterpress for 49 years and have only seen one of these. You would be better off to buy a press that takes standard type, leave this to a collector . You could check with someone like Don Black, he has about everything else related to letterpress, maybe he has type for this machine. Good Luck Dick G.

Dave Robison, also known as the ink-in-tubes guy, is THE Multigraph authority. It is possible to cast Multigraph type with the right mold, and if anyone can still do this, Dave will know. Or if you just want to see a Multigraph or two in operation, he brings them to the SF Printer’s Fair every year. One for Braille!

Type is still being cast by Mr Gerstenberg of Stempel, in Darmstadt Germany and is called Kurz Type.

From what can be seen in the photos, this Multigraph looks basically complete but is missing the ink rollers (2) and the feed table. Obviously there is rust and it will need cleanup and some TLC, but the Model No. 60 is a reasonably simple machine and very little seems to go wrong with them.

The sheet metal feed table, with side guide(s), always seems to go missing on these but could be fabricated or jury-rigged. The ink form roller is a bit harder as it uses a special core, but I think I have extra cores so it would just be a matter of having one recovered. The upper ink roller should be a large steel oscillator roller, difficult to find spares, but again something could be worked out.

As Warren and Dick say, hand set type goes on the cylinder, but only type larger than about 24 pt. is curved, the smaller is flat-face. Type is uncommon but available, although in a somewhat limited range of sizes and styles. Photopolymer plates can be used.

If you’re even somewhat mechanically inclined, like a small challenge, and want a press different than everybody else’s, this can work, and I’ll be happy to help out. If you want a standard press using standard materials and techniques, this isn’t one.

Thomas, I didn’t know Stemple was still making this short T-base type. Do you have any more info?

Dave Robison

Have you compared the Multigraph oscillator to any offset oscillating riders, like Multilith, Chief, etc.?

I’m not familiar with Chief (15) oscillators, but I imagine they’d be similar to Multilith and A.B.Dick sizes, which tend to be smaller diameter (which wouldn’t necessarily be a problem) and also longer than the missing Multigraph oscillator. I don’t have exact dimensions handy, but the Multigraph rollers are only about 8” long. Although the internal mechanism is different (the Multigraph one being much more trouble-free), I would think that a Multilith oscillator could be cut down to fit and would work fine.


I have a couple of these machines - this model and an earlier one. Mine are also missing some of the feed table parts and ink rollers. I’m glad to hear that we have a expert Multigraph person on here as I’d like to dig mine out and restore them one of these days. I have a few of the typesetting “sticks” and another accessory used in the typesetting process and some type. However, I had thoughts of machining Ludlow slugs to fit in the slots instead of having to mess with the incredibly small type.

Awww, come on, you’re not thrilled by the opportunity to hand set 6 pt. No. 1 Copperplate Gothic on T-base body (about 1/4” tall)?

If you cast Ludlow (or Linotype or Intertype) slugs on a 12 pt. body, I do have a small machine (thanks to Don Black) that converts them to Multigraph slugs.

For anyone interested in restoring or using a Multigraph, I’m always happy to help if I can. They’re really neat little presses that can print quite well, although of course, like any machine, they do have limitations. Actually they’re not so “little” in print area, since they’re all at least an 8x12 press in capacity. I use mine almost exclusively for all my printing, including boxes and labels for Ink in Tubes.


I take it this is for holding the type for a multi. It showed up when I punched in Flexo on E-bay, looks like a good way to organize that small type.

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Yes, the above is a Multigraph “Flexo-Typesetter No. 39”, their second generation of “semi-automatic” typesetting.

The Multigraph was originaly designed as a “form typewriter” or “multiple typewriter”; an office or lettershop machine intended to produce “typewritten” form letters at the rate of a couple thousand per hour, using typewriter type and printing through a ribbon.

The early Multigraphs were double-drum machines, with a supply drum full of typewriter type and a mechanism that slid one letter at a time across to the printing drum.

That somewhat slow, cumbersome, and expensive-to-manufacture method was pretty much replaced by the above “typesetter” sometime in the teens. The Flexo-Typesetter is, of course, simply a cast iron frame that holds three sloping racks of type. The operator uses a special tube-like “composing fork” to easily pick the gravity-fed type from the bottom of any slot, quickly composing lines of type. Each line of type is slid from the composing fork onto the drum of the press. After the job is done, each line is slid back into the composing fork and each piece of type is distributed back into the top of the appropriate slot in the typesetter. It’s actually a pretty neat system, faster than hand-setting from a case, and you don’t actually handle the type. But it was designed to use with monospaced typewriter styles and semi-proportional faces, and may not work as well with true proportional printer’s typestyles, and can’t handle anything larger than 12 pt., so that’s typically handset from a typecase as usual.

In the early ’20s the No. 39 Flexo-Typesetter was replaced by the more common No. 59 Typesetter, basically the same device but with a sheet metal frame; then it got renumbered to become a No. 600 Typesetter in the early ’30s after Multigraph merged with Addressograph.

So there you have it, a bunch of useless Multigraph trivia telling more than you ever wanted to know about these things!

Dave R., Certified Multigraph Nutcase

As a teenager, I was given one of these, along with some type. Mine was motorized and had a feeder. I filled the lines with spaces and attached (using rubber based glue) a rubber plate and it ran pretty quick.

As I recall, the registration was not all that accurate. It would have been good enough for form letters.

Finally, I gave up and went back to printing with my Golding 8x12 Map Press.

How about doing “crushing impressions” on Crane’s Letra?