Franklin Type Foundry Press

This press was recently loaned to the Cincinnati Type & Print Museum, and we are trying to learn a little more about it. The elbow mechanism does not look like any other press I have come across, so I am wondering if anyone here has seen something similar. It is possible that it was manufactured by another company and then sold by the Franklin Type Foundry, but we have no way of knowing.

Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

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That’s a gorgeous press. They did an excellent job on the repaint, too! Do you know if the colors were based on surviving original paint?

It looks this has the same kind of knuckle toggle as that used on the Smith Improved Press in the 1820s, though those were acorn-framed. Perhaps this was built by someone else after the Smith patents expired?

Michael Hurley
Titivilus Press
Memphis, TN

Wait until Bob Oldham sees this, looks like an after market post and tympan assembly, simple silent beauty. Best james

Are presses like this ever for sale? Looks so simple that nothing could ever go wrong with it.

That’s probably the only “press like this” in existence, but there are a lot of similarly simple hand presses around for sale. This one’s now in my database, which records well over 1200 hand presses located somewhere in North America, and almost 600 in a similar European hand press database. Many for sale, too, of a very large variety of types and sizes.


Thank You everyone for your comments. I apologize for not keeping a closer eye on this discussion over the holidays.

The colors are based on the original paint that remained prior to the restoration. what you see now is the donors best guess as to the original design. Everything else is original except the tympan assembly, rance barrel, and straps. These parts were lost to time and had to be reconstructed.

As for the “smith” style knuckle, this is very likely considering that the neighboring Cincinnati Type Foundry produced Smith-style Acorn Presses.

Mr. Oldham and I have been in contact, and this is the only one he has ever come across. If anyone ever comes across another Franklin Type Foundry (or any other Cincinnati-made) press, please let me know.