Numbering Machines for lettepress

Hello! I’ve got several numbering machines where the “No.” button sits quite a bit higher than the numbers- as it should so that when it is pressed it causes the numbers to rotate. Question is, if I am wanting to use a numbering machine for inked printing, how can I make that variable work in consideration of roller height? Is there a different style numbering machine for letterpress that would work a little better? Thanks a million.

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One answer, for starters, widely used in the U.K. Numbering Boxes driven from beyond the Type or Image area, all operated from a common spindle, with the depressable No. beyond the print area. Applicable to Platens and Cylinders alike, Horizontal or vertical with as many multiple units as needed or available.

Spaced in each direction via the use of Cornerstone Style (low) bridge material. The spindle ran UNDER the bridge.! . Plus even with Many Up, (boxes) all driven from a common spindle, virtually never go wrong, or out of SYNC.

Occasionally the common spindle, supplied in long lengths normally, had to be cut to length, but was treated as sacrificial.
OR possibly *Flag Out* the No. via a Flag on the frisket Finger(s).

most numbering machines are .918 for the digits and .040-.100 higher for the No. plunger
Could assist more if you state your make of press and numbering machines

If you do not have the type machines Mick speaks about, you just have to put one in your press and try it. Try it both N-S and E-W.
I have some numbering machines like yours, but I do not recall doing any numbering in the past 65 years.

If you have some older rollers, I would use them. A lot of numbering can chew on the rollers. I believe the N-S orientation of the machine more so.

One concern, when the machine axis is parallel to the roller core, is the wheels close to the plunger not inking. A solution to that is taking your worst roller and cutting a groove around it, in line with the plunger. That roller will not be affected by the plunger and all wheels will be inked.

As I recall it, Heidelberg Cylinder presses would NOT take ordinary plunger heights, and one had to get the lower plunger versions specially made for that machine. Better by far, using the centre shaft remotely driven machines, for which some firms with lots to do had a small plunger platform which could be locked up far away from the printed sheet area, and as Mick describes above driving the ”centre drive boxes” by the shafting under Cornerstone furniture.
For ordinary platen work with box oriented properly the plunger simply was ridden over by the rollers, with a bump. The usual ‘No’ character on your typical box was always badly printed as a result. In passing, many boxes held the ‘No’ as a removable slide and various other letters could be used instead. Lethabys made the best,
in steel, with engraved number wheels, ”Leda’ brand, C.F. Moore did boxes that could be switched to run either way,
as ‘Cefmor’ brand, and cheaper cast wheels. came on the German ‘Sunum’ boxes. Lethaby’s supplied the Bank of England. And in co-operation with them I designed the first UK centre drive boxes for the E-13b numbering of cheques. American banks with still numbers only needed type for this, at least in the beginning. .

Quite right, you need a low plunger machine for a Heidelberg cylinder; but some of the machines sold as being for Heidelberg are actually for any high-speed machine (including Heidelberg platen) because that have a lock pawl that prevents unintentional advance. On Leibinger machines that is what the L designation refers to, lock pawl; don’t mistake that L for low plunger.

H.P. Thank You for Your corroboration, possibly NO help to Dexterity, but may prompt further info.!!
Thank You also on count 2?? . . early 70,s or thereabouts was sent on a short course to Cornerstone/Hawthorne Baker, then out of Dunstable Beds.
The course involved tuition on a Moulding Press, prior to its installion at *Strange The Printer,s* in Eastbourne Sussex, to make Plates either from Plastic Granules or Rubber sheeting in both cases produced from phrenolithic board, as Flongs.

Possibly first one in the Area, produced flat product for Letterpress, but when the word spread, Vulcanised Rubber plates were turned in for Rotary/Flexo machines etc… Correct me if I got that one inaccurate.?

One of the back door customers, ( the management were shrewd or astute way back then) was another Local firm, Smith and Ouzman, Hampden Park Eastbourne, but a subsidiary of the Parent Co. in London.

The next happy coincidence (then) was that, the firm were running Continuous Stationery Machines with multiple *Heads* including Letterpress units, with Magnetic ink, head and multiple numbering Boxes UP, printing Cheques by the Million, possibly with YOUR E-13b boxes and drive system *UP* ring any bells.?

The possibly, more interesting aspect, My future Brother in Law and a buddy with whom I served an apprenticeship, both worked Night Shift, my Buddy on the Monotype My future Brother in Law on a bigger H/Berg cylinder, (He later upgraded to continuous stationer) so it was quite normal to >drop in<, usually after the last Coffee bar had closed.

As a Cheque printing House You would assume that security would prohibit one from getting with 100 yards of the premises?? no such thing, the premises especially in the summer, were wide open for the world to walk in, but apart from one or two characters of debateable heritage, coffee bar louts, known to the occupants, NOBODY dared to enter because 7 nights a week from midnight to 6 a.m.parked outside were at least 2 marked Police Patrol cars with at least 3 *Officers* guarding the premises and the Cheques, allegedly, but in actual fact, according to who was asking, in the Works Canteen making vast inroads into the STAFF Tea, Coffee, Biscuits etc.

Happy Days, but a lost, bygone era.… Thanks again. Mick.

In passing, Alan Ouzman was in my year at the London College of Printing. Later in life used them for outwork (sub-contracting) continuous stationery, as provincial rates were cheaper than London. Alan I believe has now passed away.
Long ago cheques had to be taken to a government office (Somerset House) where two penny tax stamps were embossed in blue relief (shades of 1776!) before we bound them in books. In due course we were allowed to print a two penny stamp (aka ‘the medallion’) on ourselves, and had to give vast assurances about security arrangements. A vast bundle of lies were told, fences, watch towers, lights, guards etc etc. none of which were ever installed. I don’t doubt that the Gov. in reality well knew this. It was pretty much true for all the specialist cheque printers.

NUMBERING MACHINE CENTER DRIVEN SHAFT ..a little expensive BUT way better.. see pics

image: oi.jpg


unless you are hitting the work hard, the area around the “No.” will not appear on the sheet. you may find that with some used machines, certain digits need specific packing. N-S configuration is tougher on rollers, as the “ramp” around the “No” is then not effective, plus, the roller pressure is pinpointed to a very small area. it doesn’t seem like it will work, but, it does.