I found this in my grandmothers basement, help!


I found this while cleaning my grandmothers house. Unfortunately I have no idea what it is (if it is even a press - my girlfriend is into this, I am just learning!) and it has no names or markings on it.

can anyone help me out?

link to pictures, they are too big to attach here: http://imgur.com/a/65vK8


Log in to reply   8 replies so far


It appears to be a flatbed proof press, similar to a showcard or nolan. Judging from your photos, there appears to be some kind of a frisket frame attached (perhaps someone else can speak to this?).

Clean it up and you might have a very nice manually operated, manually inked proofing press. Buy a small piece of glass, some ink, a brayer, some type or linoleum/wood, and some paper, and have fun. It’ll obviously take some practice to learn to operate but they’re very simple and should be great for a beginner.

Thanks HavenPress!

I have been trying to find a small press for my girlfriend for the house, I’m glad I came across this one!

Was the person in whose house this was at all interested in ceramics? With the adjustable height of the roller, which I’ve never seen in that form before on a proof press, I suspect it was meant as a slab roller for clay. Measure the roller height above the bed with the adjustment at the highest and the lowest points — it shouldn’t vary by more than a few thousandths of an inch from .918. I’m guessing it will go from maybe 1/2 to 1 inch if it’s a slab roller. Also, check to see how flat and smooth the bed is. But depending on what the roller is covered with you might still be able to use it for printing.


That is, in fact, a sign press. I have one just like it but in much better condition.

Bob, the Line-o-Scribe (and the Showcard brand ones, I think) also have adjustable roller height. Here’s a photo of a Line-O-Scribe I sold last week, showing its dial. You press the silver pins and rotate to the desired height.

image: lineoscribe.jpg


That makes sense since those presses were used to print on everything from bond-weight paper to signboard and poster board. Looks like the same range of adjustment on the Line-O-Scribe. I stand corrected.


Yes, they would have needed to be versatile and easy to adjust, given their use and their users.

I can only imagine that the people using them to print cards with the price of potatoes or handbags were hardly printers :)


The slots inside the base were there to hold two trays that came with the press. They had slots along the inside of the length and wood dividers could be arranged to hold the slotted show-card type for this press.