Albion-style press—which end of the bed faces the back?

I have a Dutch copy of an Albion press and, although the ends of the bed look identical from the top, they are quite different underneath.

The runners underneath the bed are quite different. I attach a sketch.

At one the end of the bed, the runners are small square shaped pegs but, at the other end of the bed, the runners are much longer strips.

Does anyone know whether the end of the bed with the short “pegs” faces the back or front of the press?

image: Albionbed.JPG


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Does the bed have corner irons, either as part of the casting or bolted on? If so, the tympan was hinged to the end that faces the pressman when the bed is under the platen. If no corner irons are present, look underneath the bed at the corners for bolt holes. Typically the irons with the hinges are a bit heftier, so the placement of the bolt holes might be different. Also, typically beds were/are moved with straps or “girts” attached to the ends of the bed and wrapping around the rounce barrel. Almost all have two girts leading to the outer or tympan end and a single one to the other end. Different press makers used different systems, so a photo could help determine what you have.


Thank you, Bob, but none of your suggestions helped me because the distinctions you mentioned did not apply to my press.

What I did find on close inspection was that the holes in the plates affixing the girth fittings to each end of the bed were keyed with dimples which correspond to dimples by the bolt holes for the fittings at each end of the bed. So, I was able to determine that the single girth attachment plate went to one end of the bed and the two-girth attachment plate went to the other end of the bed. I then applied the logic that the single girth attachment would be at the rear of the press and the two-girth attachment would be at the front of the press.

From memory, this setup meant the small square-shaped peg end of the bed faced the front but I can check if this is important to anyone.

I know of no logical explanation for the runners at one end of the bed being a different length from the runners at the other end—the bed moves backwards and forwards—but I am pleased to have found a logical answer as to the orientation of my bed.

Thank you for trying to help.