road roller printing posters

to all

I have never seen road roller printing of posters, but have had a description from a man who used a garden roller for the same purpose.

When a steam roller is used, is the steam useful for softening the paper?


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AH no, probably not. Mostly it just applies pressure. A lot of times a piece of heavy board or some other stuff is actually put between the paper and the roller. Has nothing to do with steam so much as the giant drums and weight of the machine.

AH no, probably not. Mostly it just applies pressure. A lot of times a piece of heavy board or some other stuff is actually put between the paper and the roller. Has nothing to do with steam so much as the giant drums and weight of the machine.

‘Steam’ rollers haven’t been steam powered in decades anyway.

Well done that man! (Andykeck) as you observe, Road Rollers, havent been steam for a long time, Diesel, L.P.G etc.(Probably Generic terms that have not yet been Rescinded) “”“Hows About That for slipping in a couple of impressive words?? Dont Have a clue what they mean, but impressed Me, but then I suppose it would!!!”“”>>>Next One sort of related???RE Steam Powered Shafting, (from way back) driving almost everything, The Machine shop (engineering), in Our local museum has an impressive reconstruction of Line Shafting, would have been steam, but now powered with a BIG electric motor, SADLY although fully operational, hardly ever IS! It has been reconstructed as would have been so, that the Main Shaft, is high enough, to allow long belt, run/return, to whatever is being driven, Engineering, Printing etc, so that the belt can be flicked, on the machine, from fixed to free pulley, at will. Although not incorporated, in The Museum, it was not uncommon to see Jockey Pulleys, high up on the Run On side of the belt to maintain tension.>>>One last one (with apologies) Quite a long time ago, via our B.P.S. was some in depth, discussion, about Grandmas old fashioned 2 wooden roller, wet clothes, mangle>>> being converted to litho press?<<< dare I invite input for the benefit of of new letterpress devotees, who may be interested? OR is it out of order to mention, Litho on Letterpress site. Please! and Thanks! Mick

Point to note, it won’t do a lot for your type.
What museum is that Mick?

image: steam roller.jpg

steam roller.jpg

Google The Museum of Printing in North Andover, Massachusetts, they have some pictures on their site of the steamroller printing.

to platenprinter and dickg

Thank you. I showed pic to someone who asked “What is that?”

This person was born in highlands of Papua New Guinea, remembers the first time they saw white men. Understood barcodes better than I did when I explained them. Speaks about 5 languages, several native (neighbouring tribes), one Pidgen, But pronounces words as first heard; simple words as in PNG; technical words like generator as do Australians, but newspaper as “newspiper”, very short .towards end of that word


Platen Printer, Yes Sir you are indeed correct, would not be too clever on type, But as was posted a few days ago, as a result of one of my ramblings, some discussion was aired about the potential pressure form moulding press, when producing flongs from type, for plastic plates and/or vulcanised rubber. I stated that I only had to operate at approximately 50 tons P.S.I. and it was quite correctly pointed out, that possible maximum working pressure was far greater, when required and governed by bearers at least 1” (ONE) inch thick, I assumed, to give the flong correct depth of drive!!>>>The Museum is Amberely, Nr. Arundel, in glorious downtown Sussex, U.K. Virtually everything in The Print Shop is fully operational, with a terrific cross section of volunteers. They have briefly, fully operational, Elrod, Ludlow, Linotype, Monotype:-(my own personal obsession) Vickobold/Autovic, (Parallel approach,) Heigelberg Platen, 10x15, Heidelberg, Cylinder, (smaller one) Chandler & Price, Whole Herds of Adana,s and or Sigwalts/Kelsey,s and much more!!! Our PETER or JONATHON?? Will cross the “T”s and dot the “I”s to a far greater extent than myself!!! I only offer the following from a personal stand point, but I am sure on every other shift as well, very often, well past throwing out time, Visitors And Volunteers alike, (Too busy trading info etc) have to be asked to leave, the Site Foreman and/or Caretaker probably dont get overtime? Thanks >Mick<

PS: The person to whom I showed the steam roller pic has a full-blood PNG “national” (citizen) brother who works in Papua New Guinea as a screen printer. — Alan.

I have seen a picture of roller with the name plate Albion on the side. Does that make it a new model of Albion press? :)

There are Albion steam tractors (traction engines) in the uk ,my favourites are the ones marked” Invicta ” with the kentish invicta on them , I remember them still used as a child ,they used to grub up the road surface with them prior to resurfacing , They had like cultivator type hooks that ripped the old tarmac up .
Before i am corrected the albion traction engine was not built by invictas maker at rochester .,I think they were built in the midlands or the north , .

I thought that picture is Micks car????

link to pics of Albion lorries for a gander

Alright boys and girls, now to show you some serious toys.

Along with our 3,000+ sq. ft. Printers’ Hall letterpress museum, we are also surrounded by the largest collection of traction steam engines in North America. We also have steam trains, electric trolleys, gas engine tractors, stationary steam engines, etc. ad infinitum.

We actually have TWO 19th-century steam rollers avalaible to us. One of which I don’t think is shown in the following links. The photo’s of Printers’ Hall also have not been updated for a while a fail to show the 15-ton Miehle Model 00. Everything in Printers’ Hall and all of the engines, trains, ect. are ALL fully operational. (By the way, our Babcock press is powered by a steam engine).

Be sure you have had a bathroom break before you open up the links and are in a comfortable chair because you probably won’t be able to pull yourselves away from the screen for hours!!!!!!!

Also having a paper towel or two available will allow you to wipe the drool off of your faces.

Go to and click on Events & Attractions and then click on Printers’ Hall for a brief overview. When you have looked at that, then go back to the main page and click on Reunion, then go to Areas of Reunion, then scroll down and click on Steam Engines, and scroll down to the Photo Gallery. One of the steam rollers is in the second row.



Oh I almost forgot, you can see a couple of our beauties “in action” on You Tube. Once you get to You Tube, type in “1907 Miehle #00 at Printers’ Hall” and then you can also see the Babcock powered by steam at “Babcock Press at Printers’ Hall.”



Its not fair, Rick, you always get to play with the best toys.

Foolproof, Thanks Buddy, looked up The Babcock and The Miehle, both worth the look, thanks! Got side tracked and flipped to The kelly, at Charlevoix, Michigan, Nice One, but then got side tracked AGAIN, picking up on the 2 CYLINDER,?? machine as opposed to 2 REV?? Which in turn, cranked the clock back 55 years to apprenticeship days, The firm had One Big evil Wharfedale, hand fed (which was only permitted to run within specified hours,) because the D.C. Motor, Jammed the Televisions, next block, along, we were then on 405 lines to the inch and only V.H.F. Not U.H.F. Next Machine was The kelly, as far as I remember ran well, little newer than your Michigan one, and operational into the late 60,s.>>Then 3 Miehles, one akin to the one posted above, and two further!! but really Big, the size I know not, perhaps a contributor could trawl your archives. As I believe/believed They were of American Origin?>>The Vertical Miehle and M.G.D. apparently well documented, but as yet have not seen reference to big Miehles. It is appreciated that, that size machine is far outside this sphere of interest, but as a precursor to all of the Big, Modern, high speed Multi colour, machines of today, ought to be worthy of a little mention, surely. >>Mick.<< D.O.F. ? >>>

Like this?

There are others. Search YouTube “Steam Roller Printing”.

All the cool kids are doing it.

I wouldn’t recommend using “good ol’ foundry type” for this.

I have seen a you tube vid of the steam roller a couple of years back , I cant get around how they found a flat enough area to do it on the ground . If you had a level , very level area you could build bearers to keep the pressure even and therefore not crush your type but that would be a difficult undertaking , i think they used poster type and lino in the one i saw . i will try find it ..

Yo Mick -
I don’t wanna brag and I don’t wanna boast, but Printers’ Hall has the MOST!!!!!

We also have a Kelly B. We have three Washington handpresses, three Heidelberg windmills, three Linotypes and an Intertype, an Elrod, a Ludlow, two Vandercooks, a newspaper folder, a completely operational Hickock Ruling Press (most likely the last one in operational order) and a bunch of platen presses and type and just about everything else needed for a great working shop.

And aside from all the steam and gas engines, trains, trolleys, etc. there is also a carousel operated by a steam engine in another building next to us. It is in it’s own dedicated building.


Rick, ever thought that you could wreck a good working relationship, centered around our favourite subject(s) before we have been cleared for take off even. I.E. boasting and teasing re Your Museum, O.K. it is impressive but you can tease because you have probably worked out that “A” I got too much Mercury, Tin, Antimony and Lead in my bloodstream to clear the scanners at the Airport, AND “B” you have probably done a little research and discovered that My Great, Great, Grand Pa, was deported to Van Diemans Land, Australia for Sheep Stealing. So I would not get a visa/permit to check out your Museum anyway. We do have many comprehensive but specialised Museums, but they are just that. Our nearest/comparable would be Ironbridge, in Shropshire, Birthplace of our industrial Revolution, But embarrassingly, I believe they do not have a Print Shop. My only interest was to check out connection to Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Which brings me nicely to a keep the P.C. brigade happy, by working in a Letter Press print item, tenuously connected to I.K.B. and transatlantic liners. I. E. Full Blown Print shops with Presses and Linotypes. on board ship!!!! Might be interesting to later day Printers. Any thoughts from down under???


We started out innocently enough. The huge decades-old venue for the Old Threshers grounds includes a little “village” at one end. You know the type - schoolhouse, Post Office, bank, train depot, salloon, blacksmith shop, general mercantile store and of course - print shop.

Unfortunately the “print shop” was no bigger than a two-car garage. Not much room for anything in there and about all that was produced were touristy note pads.

After decades of the same old crap, a bunch of us finally decided to see if we could raise the funds to build a decent sized letterpress shop and museum on the grounds. We were optimistic and were planning a 4,000 sq. ft. free-standing building. We were pursuing all of this when we were offered a 3,000 sq. ft. space inside one of the existing museums. That was a no-brainer - we took it.

Then the donations of equipment started rolling in and you can see where we are now. This is our sixth year in Printers’ Hall. There is a stationary steam operation in the next building and they simply piped steam over to us to run the Babcock press (the newspaper folder is also powered by a different steam engine). Both the Babcock and the folder can also be powered by electric motors if live steam is not available.

One of the unique features of Printers’ Hall is that everything is operable and the shop goes full-blast for a about a week each year during the Annual Old Threshers Reunion. Tens of thousands of people pass through our shop during this. We print an 8-page newspaper every day during the reunion.

Aside from all the great exposure during the Old Threshers Reunion we also host the Annual Midwest and Great Northern Printer’s Fair on a weekend in late September.Its about the most fun you can have with your clothes on.


BMW Pri ts from Tires,
OK, so it’s not letterpress and it’s not offset, but it’s way cool!

1. The Museum in N Andover prints from linoleum cuts - so no type is harmed in the making of the prints.

2. Old Thresher’s Hall is AMAZING, and not to be missed - never seen so much obsolete steam equipment in such great shape.

To Steve Varvaro

Tyre (tire) prints have almost all characteristics of letterpress?