The Kelly Style A automatic cylinder press

I have a Kelly Style A cylinder press. Feeding and delivery problems solved. And it only took 6 years: (1 minute long, will play in Windows Media Player and others)

My Kelly Style A press (13” x 20”) is similar to the more popular Kelly B cylinder press, made by American Type Founders and launched in 1914. Only 554 of the Style A presses were made, mainly between 1926 and 1930. Mine is SN # 166, made in 1926. I don’t know of any other surviving example of a Kelly A.

Does anyone know of any other surviving Kelly A presses? For those familiar with the Kelly presses, the main difference is that mine does not have suction wheels on the paper feed —- it uses a flat suction plate and suction tube to feed the paper in. I am looking for a parts manual or any other literature specific to the Kelly A. I’ve figured out a lot of the settings and operation through trial and error, and the Kelly B instruction manual, but if there are any experienced Kelly operators in the Denver / Fort Collins area (or anywhere by phone), I’d like to talk. Best wishes,

John Jenkins
Oak Root Press
more pics of the Kelly press are here:

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My dad had a “C” Kelly that sat in the center of his small shop in Fairport, NY. It was an absolute beast of a press and way too big for his building, but he wanted to print the local high school newspaper in the late 1960s, so he acquired it and used it regularly for about five years. He printed the school paper on a coated stock and it had a lot of halftones that looked really good. I was only six or seven the last time it ran, but I remember it being really loud and having a lot of moving parts. When he finally retired, a salvage team took it apart and removed it. I wish he was still alive, as he would have loved to share his knowledge about operating the Kelly.

John & Jim Thank you from afar, 5,000 - 6.000 miles approx, afar!! Served my apprenticeship 54/60, The firm ran One big Wharfedale, Two big American Miehles, and One Kelly, which was possibly “C E” Kelly, perhaps that is incorrect, would like to be reminded, if possible, NO archives in U.K. as far as can be ascertained, also just possible that it was one machine akin to Tirfing,s and Johannisberg,s (although later) It the Kelly had to have a Bridge over the chase, on lock up to get it from the stone to the machine.
Perhaps that is wrong as well, any offers. Possibly, Thank you.

I think the CE was the Kelly “clipper” —- a semi-upright model, somewhat like the Miehle vertical. They made even less of those than the Kelly A (about 300). I have production amounts on the other, larger, models. There are a couple oddball things on my Kelly A press that are unlike the Kelly B. Why the differences? The handy feed-start handle of the Kelly B is replaced by an air vent dial, somewhat inconvenient to start and stop the paper feeding. That seems a regressive design move. The flat suction plate and suction tube also seems less reliable than the suction wheels of the Kelly B. Were they experimenting with the Kelly A? So far I’ve not encountered any evidence of any other Kelly A. Usually something will pop up in online searches, from modern times or historical archives. Nothing. The market crash hit in 1929 and killed production. The Kelly A (at 4500 iph) is faster than the Kelly B —- that was its selling point. But so what? That slight speed increase might not have outweighed the design oddities.

Thank you, obviously my recollections are/were very rusty, it was along time ago. (mid 50,s) so it must have been in fact “C” Kelly. Although it was smaller in print area, than the Wharfedale and the 2 American Miehle,s on the firm, it still seemed quite big way back then.! Thanks, again. Mick

The CE is a later Kelly C with an extension delivery pile and I think slightly larger sheet/form area, maybe specific to the Vickers era of Kelly production
The Clipper is very different from other Kellys, having chain delivery and a feeder not using the usual Kelly suction wheel but rather sucker feet at the tail of the feed pile that allow for stream feeding. It does have the normal horizontal flatbed motion.

P. I. John & Jim thanks all, and P. I. sounds/seems most likely, MY/THE, one stood facing the Wharfedale, side on to the Kelly and needed the same length overall, roughly! Would be synonymous with long tape or chain delivery. Thanks. Mick.

In the late fifties I ran a ce Kelly, there was also a Kelly 3. It was similar in style to a Miehle, probably double royal size with an extended pile delivery. It was made circa1950. that’s all I can remember about the Kellies.