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Interesting Small Hand Press

First time poster! So thankful to stumble upon this community. :)

I found this press at an antique store today! I would love to know more about it. A Google search didn’t turn up anything (that I could find, anyway), so I thought someone here might know a little about it.

It’s a small hand-operated press, maybe 8 x 5”. It has a hand lever to make the impression on paper. The model number says it’s a “Commercial No. 4 Printer”. It’s apparently from the 1930’s, but that’s all the dealer knew.

I’m most curious about the removable piece that contains the steel plates. Wishful thinking perhaps, but wondering if it could be used today with different plates and how it was inked.

Thanks for your help!

image: Full view

Full view

image: Close up of model

Close up of model

image: This wood piece can be removed. These are steel plates glued on.

This wood piece can be removed. These are steel plates glued on.

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its not really a printing press, it prints from rubber stamps, there is a giant stamp pad at one end of it which uses stamp ink. might be fun to play with but i doubt it will produce good prints.

Oh really?! Well that’s unexpected but very interesting. Thank you for your reply! I feel a little silly that I posted this on a letterpress forum now. ;)

The “stamps” are actually metal though—not rubber. I suppose that’s what threw me off. That, and you can see it has made an impression on the base from repeated use over time!

don’t feel silly, its still a cool little machine, i still love mine. if you try to print with it by hand inking the cuts, you will have to remove the board they are monuted to every time you ink it (i think). i mount rubber stamps on mine with a double sided tape, its fun to play with.

If the plates are indeed metal, not hardened rubber, they are most likely magnesium or zinc, not steel. Dick is correct, they were originally intended for printing in an office from rubber plates using stamp pad ink.

John Henry

Thanks John and Dick! I really appreciate it!