Info about Kelsey Models

I’m wondering what are the differences between Models in the Kelsey line, for example the 3x5 Models N, M, O. They don’t seem to follow chronologically and I haven’t found this info in the documentation online. Just curious. Thanks for any thoughts on this.

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going back from start of self inking presses they started off very heavy and a lot of gothic detail. by the 1900’s casting techniques improved cleaning up castings also removing there gothic details. later in 1900’s shipping a press mail order was a good way to sell more small presses, so they were trimmed down more. technology changed from hand hammered pivot bars to later pushed on locking washers.
The models you noted are all late models, I do not think you will see a difference looking at them. I have never seen information on exactly what letters stood for.
3x5 kelsey’s look over the years

image: CIMG1910.JPG


image: CIMG1907.JPG


Elizabeth Nevin, the founder of this BP site, commented on your query in the following link:

An article by Stephen Saxe, appeared in the May 2007 issue of Galley Gab, a wonderful publication edited by Mike O’Connor, for the APA. A good reference for a historical perspective of the Kelsey Co.

On David MacMillan’s site I would point you in the direction of the following link for a photo time-line of Kelsey presses:

Thanks Todd and Butch for the info, pix, links! (love the Galley Gab!)

I understand now the serial number for my model M, it is A58B = 3x5, Feb, 1958.

It needs an ink disk but oddly, the one I have from another 3x5 (model unknown) does not fit into the disk hole. So I thought maybe the specs could be different per model. But perhaps it is due to small changes in manufacturing over time, as casting is not always very precise, and perhaps each disk was “fitted” individually. A theory.

Thanks again for the research help! -Dee


Thanks again everyone. I posted my findings of the differences between the models C and M, with pix. Hope to follow up and add the N.