Baltimore press

Just picked up this small press,anyone know aprox age, is there ink disc out there? Any info would be helpful thanks

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The press probably dates from between 1880’s to the early 1900’s, depending on the manufacturer. The original “Baltimoreans” were made by J. F. W. Dorman Co., but later “Baltimores” were produced by Baumgarten & Co., Inc.) The castings, decorations and nomenclature were so similar, nowadays no one can tell them apart.

Some more details:

The Baltimore Manual:

The History of J.F.W. Dorman Co. (page 736 and on)

My potentially erronious timeline of similar looking presses:
Part 1:
Part 2:

From the old BriarPress Archive:

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The Baltimorean No.9

Chase 2 x 3 1/4” = 82 x 50
Year 1895
Maker Baumgarten & Co.
Weight: 15 lbs = 6.8 kg
Collection: Briar Press

About the Baltimorean No.9
This single-roller press is similar in style to John Sigwalt’s Chicago No.9. However, the chase in this press is attached to the side rails. Sigwalt produced his copy around 1899. J.F.W. Dorman also made a similar but more ornate press, the Baltimore 11.

Baumgarten also made the Baltimore with a larger chase size: the Baltimore No.10 has a chase of 2 1/2 by 4 inches.

The Baltimore (or Baltimorean) 11

Chase 2 1/4 x 4” = 101 x 57
Year 1877
Maker J.F.W. Dorman
Weight: 20 (boxed) lbs = 9.1 kg
Collection: Briar Press

About the Baltimore (or Baltimorean) 11
The Baltimore No. 11 was made about 1885 by the J.F.W. Dorman Company of — where else? — Baltimore. J.F.W. Dorman started in business in 1866 as a stencil cutter, becoming a supplier of rubber stamps and stationery material before turning to amateur presses in the 1870s. He briefly sold full-size JOBBING PRESSES until he lost his shop in the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904. After the disaster the Dorman Company returned to its original office supply line.

Dorman’s hand LEVER PRESSES were very popular, and were copied closely by several other manufacturers, notably John Sigwalt of Chicago (see his Chicago No.10, which lacks the rippled ornamentation below its lever) and Baumgarten of Baltimore, who copied nearly every aspect of Dorman’s Baltimore line, including its name. (Sometimes Dorman’s presses go by the name ‘Baltimorean’ while Baumgarten’s use ‘Baltimore.’)

The Dorman Baltimore is a well made, highly ornamented press for one so small; despite its size, it is capable of doing good printing if the form is small. The press carries two rollers on one roller arm (The Baltimore pictured does not have its rollers attached). The Baltimore 10, a similar press with a 2 1/2 by 4” chase, has only one roller. The Baltimorean No.9 has a 2 1/4 by 3 1/4” chase.

Two smaller presses in this series are the No.5 with a chase size of 1 3/4 by 3 1/2,” and No.4 with a chase size of 1 1/2 by 2 5/8.” These tiny presses are known as RAIL PRESSES and are similar to a press manufactured by Dorman and sold as the Baltimore A.
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Nomenclature and chase comparisons:
#1 Hand inker: 2-1/2 x 4
#2 Hand inker: 4x6
#3 Hand inker: 5-1/2x8
#3 Hand stamp, one line of type
#4 Rail press: 1-1/2 x 2-1/2
#5 Rail press: 1-3/4 x 3-1/8
#9: 2-1/2 x 3-1/4 one roller, self inking.
#10: 2-1/2 x 4 one roller self inking
#11: two roller version of the #10.

H.L. Mencken’s autobiography “Happy Days” has a chapter “In the footsteps of Gutenberg” describing his childhood memories of getting this press for christmas.
Available on google books (page 202 and on)

Stephen O. Saxe has a wonderfull article elaborating on the subject, with many fine illustrations.

“Personal Impressions” by Elizabeth is an invaluable source on small American presses.
Pages 53-54, 75, 95-97 (also available for preview on Google books)

Post a picture and chase dimension (inside measurements) for a better answer

Thank you, Ivan.
Everything I ever wanted to know about a Baltimore(an) Press but was afraid to ask. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.

Pictures won’t post

Pictures are on Facebook , search paisley ink press, it’s posted today,also where can I get a disc? Thanks for all the input