AJAX MAJOR, Table Top press, Info Please

Please, any info regarding the AJAX Major (table top press) would be appreciated.
Very sketchy, very limited info trawled so far, all, anything, everything appreciated, if possible.

I own the Ajax Master, NON operational but good for demo, as Parallel approach V. Clamshell.

Thank You, in anticipation, Mick.

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Mick, is there any way you can post pictures of the press? That could really help identification and information. Besides, I’ve never heard of a parallel impression tabletop press before! I’m quite fascinated by the idea!

Michael Hurley
Titivilus Press
Memphis, TN

Michael H. The Ajax is indeed a Parallel Approach table top press. There are a few scant reference,s to be found (Google) but sketchy to say the least, we beleive, basically an attempt to upstage Adana at that time, but failed anyway, the concept was brilliant when observing the action, still is, even on the NON working example.

The body was diecast Aluminium, or Mazak or Monkey Metal, as was often referred to, but did not last long enough, literally and metaphorically, to migrate beyond our shores i.e. U.K.

The chase overall size at 8 1/2” x 5 1/2” is suspiciously close to the Adana H.S.3

My request for info is based on the Ajax *Major* which has to be the Bigger brother, only because I have just acquired an ink disc, to assist my learning curve and/or possibly to turn in for another M/c.

The Ajax *Master* disc is 7-3/4” in diameter, the Ajax *Major* disc is exactly 9-3/4” in diameter.

Michael H. Thank You, Will try to learn or be Taught how to post pictures on B.P…Mick

here is a site that has pictures of ajax machines but limited information


I don’t know how to put it as a link you will have to type it in


J. & L. (S) and Platen Printer, thank you All. But now the plot thickens, in an interesting way, it appears that Ajax marketed an equivalent to, or in competition to the, Adana Quarto flatbed Press, just makes life more interesting. If only to establish the production time line(s)?

In our Museum Print Shop, Amberley West Sussex. an Adana Quarto flat bed press, is permanently set up with a standing forme, the Kids have there name set in Type or a Ludlow slug, print their own certificate, hung on a ball clip rack until dry, and collected after the visit, the Big Kids (adults) do the same on a beautifully built (from scratch) Common Press, the both *go down a storm*.

Haphazardly trawling through a collection of Table Top press >chases<. Found what appears to be an Ajax Major chase (from the fitment!)

Thank You all. Mick

Ajax made at least half a dozen different models, plus a very clever guillotine which not only cut paper and card but also leads and even brass rule.

I wrote a lengthy article about the history of the company for “Small Printer” a few years ago, which listed all of the machines. Adana actually went so far as to publicly criticise the Ajax Major in their promotional material, so must have regarded the company as a real threat. Ajax suggested in some publicity material that a stack of paper could be placed on the platen, removing the top one as it was printed and still get very good results without constantly adjusting the pressure.

STET, original comment, revert to, Bob - Thank you Sir for the Above. Mick

Bob Richardson has the most info about the various Ajax Presses, and I have one fairly complete, but only one roller, and bits of another. Amazingly, despite the obvious competition with Adana, they did seem to sell a pretty full range of Adana’s type and sundries!. How this happened I’ve no idea. Made in Southend-on-Sea Essex. UK

Ajax had Monotype casters and sold a very similar range of faces and point sizes to Adana. They even sold a small selection of Adana 7x4 em stock blocks. The March 1951 Ajax catalogue is uncannily similar to Adana’s Spring 1951 edition. Although slimmer, the Ajax list seems to have been deliberately designed to appeal to the same customers.

The Adana stock blocks have always puzzled me. Adana claimed to have commissioned the original artwork and had mats made in the early 1930s for their range of 280+ stock blocks, yet the same designs also turn up in other supplier lists. The Adana versions carry the Adana pin-mark, but competitors sold identical blocks without any pin mark.

Fred Ayers, post-war owner of Adana rarely missed an opportunity to make money, so perhaps he was happy to sell to competitors, and may have had a separate mould for these unbranded blocks.