Anyone know about Baltimorean #3 press?

Hello - I just bought myself a Baltimorean #3 tabletop press and I was wondering if anyone knew anything about this type of press such as its quality etc… Any information would be great. Thanks so much!

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I don’t know any more about them than you do. The Briar Press museum doesn’t have a No. 3 in its collection. But the museum lists a number of other Baltimore and Baltimorean presses and some descriptive history (see below)

Also, there’s a No.3 on eBay right now and the seller says it’s a 4”x 6” inside chase size.

The description goes on to say:

The Baltimorean was made in approximately 1885 by J. F. W. Dorman Company out of Baltimore. J. F. W. Dorman started in business in 1866 as a stencil cutter, becoming a supplier of rubber stamps and stationery materials. The company turned to making presses in the 1870’s. The Dorman hand lever presses were very popular and were copied by several other companies, but the only company that went by the name of Baltimorean, was the original Dorman press. The Dorman factory was lost to the Great Baltimore Fire in 1904.

This info looks like it was lifted directly off the Briar Press museum site from their general description regarding Dorman presses in general, but differs slightly from the info stated in the Briar site which I repeat below:

J.F.W. Dorman started in business in 1866 as a stencil cutter, becoming a supplier of rubber stamps and stationery material before turning to amateur presses in the 1870s. He briefly sold full-size JOBBING PRESSES until he lost his shop in the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904. After the disaster the Dorman Company returned to its original office supply line.

Dorman’s hand LEVER PRESSES were very popular, and were copied closely by several other manufacturers, notably John Sigwalt of Chicago (see his Chicago No.10, which lacks the rippled ornamentation below its lever) and Baumgarten of Baltimore, who copied nearly every aspect of Dorman’s Baltimore line, including its name. (Sometimes Dorman’s presses go by the name ‘Baltimorean’ while Baumgarten’s use ‘Baltimore.’)

The Dorman Baltimore is a well made, highly ornamented press for one so small; despite its size, it is capable of doing good printing if the form is small. The press carries two rollers on one roller arm (The Baltimore pictured does not have its rollers attached). The Baltimore 10, a similar press with a 2 1/2 by 4” chase, has only one roller. The Baltimorean No.9 has a 2 1/4 by 3 1/4” chase.

Two smaller presses in this series are the No.5 with a chase size of 1 3/4 by 3 1/2,” and No.4 with a chase size of 1 1/2 by 2 5/8.” These tiny presses are known as RAIL PRESSES and are similar to a press manufactured by Dorman and sold as the Baltimore A.

They also say this about a different size press, the Baltimorean No. 14:

“About the Baltimorean Self-Inking No.14
There is some confusion regarding the name Baltimore and Baltimorean presses. In a 1910 catalog from Baumgarten & Co., this press is called a Baltimore No.14. However, an 1888 catalog shows the same press entitled Baltimorean No.14.


I own a number of Baltimore’s and Baltimorean’s and have found them to be wonderful little presses for what they were intended to do, namely small amounts of text work for things like business cards or stationary headings. But they don’t have the impression pressure to handle large solids or deep impression from photopolymer or anything like that….but they were never intended to do anything like that in the first place!

Hope this helps!

Best wishes,


Thank you SO much Steve - this is very helpful!

it’s: Personal impressions: the small printing press in nineteenth-century America By Elizabeth M. Harris… diagrams and specs for all models excerpt on google. Apparently, models 1,2 and 3 became 10, 11, and 13. peace