Press ID, D & W, American No. 8 ????

Hi all,

Bought another press! I normally stick with Golding or Sigwalt, but, this one really intrigued me. Does anyone know anything about this press? I know there is another example in the museum, but, I cannot find any reference to a company named D & W. It has a very similar action to the pilot, Curtis and Mitchell, and some other early presses but it has a larger chase size of 8 x 12. The action is very smooth by the way. There is a reference in Harris’s book about the Manhattan Type Foundry selling a press called the American that looks very similar. The reference states that it is not known if they made it, or someone else made it for them to sell. Any info is appreciated.

Log in to reply   7 replies so far

Your press is probably manufactured by Degener & Weiler Printing Presses, New York. The press was also manufactured by F.M. Weiler Liberty Machine Works, Berlin. Here a link to my 1894 Woellmer type specimen showing the German produced American No. 8
Gott grüß die Kunst

Degener & Weiler was a partnership of Fred. Otto Degener and F. M. Weiler; after Degener died Weiler bought out his son and the company became F. M. Weiler in 1878. So in theory a “D & W” press would have been made before that year, though Weiler could have used the initials as a press name after the firm name had been changed. See the article in the Journal of the Printing Historical Society, New Series #10, 2007, by Erik Desmyter and me, for more information about Degener and Weiler and Degener’s Liberty press.


John, does your wife know aout this press? if you’re not careful you will be sleeping in the garage (like me). Dick G.

Thanks Jens and Bob, that all seems to fit. Even the part I found saying the Mahattan Type Foundry sold them, but probably didn’t make them. (they were both NYC firms so a relationship was likely) It is consistent with the location it was found, (just outside of NYC) and the story from the owner about the history of this particular press. Unlike the jobber Liberty press they made, this model is rather conventional in design for the time period, and shares many features with other popular presses. It is very well balanced and cycles nicely. The grey repaint makes it look newer than it apparently is.

To DickG.
Fortunately, I have sold three presses in the last month so I am still sleeping in the house.

I believe Manhattan Type Foundry were agents for F.M. Weiler after he closed the New York manufacturing and moved to Germany. It is also possible that the press, sold by them, was “new old stock”.



Interesting. I was going through the drawers of the table it came with and found a package of German gauge pins and Rouse quoins with a 1907 patent date. I think we are very close to the story of this press. One last question: What do you think of them? To me, it seems a substantial press of good design with a nice smooth and balanced pull. I have a few minor details to correct or construct and it will be in printing shape.

I don’t know much about the “American” press, but Degener’s Liberty was pretty popular — more than 16,000 had been sold by 1909. By then they were being made in Germany and were more popular on the Continent than here. It looks like Weiler copied the successful design (I’m not clear who originated the impression mechanism used by this and many other similar presses) and added some structural elements (the loops) that may be more ornamental. Erik Desmyter may have more information about the American.