The university where I work was just donated this press. I did a little research and found that it looks like an arming or embossing press. The only identifying marker on the press is “E. Ermold Maker, New York.” I was wondering if anyone can confirm that this is a press for embossing and if it is meant to be used with some kind of heat source.
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This appears to be a 19th century “blocking press”. Many manufacturers and many styles/configurations. Mine does accomodate heating elements under the bed. Your does not appear to have that option.
There has been discussion here about these kinds of presses so try to do a search for “blocking press” and see what you can find out.
I love these little presses because you can use them as sort of mini-handpresses if you have the patience to get everything set-up right. They are also very cute!