Collection

The International Printing Museum features the Ernest A. Lindner Collection of Antique Printing Machinery considered by many authorities to be one of the largest, most comprehensive collections of historic graphic arts equpment in the world. The Lindner Collection features many notable developments in the history of printing. Here you can explore highlights of our current collection.

The first iron printing press was built in England around 1800 by Lord Stanhope. John Clymer built the second in Philadelphia in 1813. The Columbian was not very well received in America, probably because of its great weight. So Clymer went to England where he manufactured and sold his press successfully. The massive cross beam, advantageously linked to the operating handle, is the principle unique to the Columbian. After pulling the impression, the counterweighted lever (most often weighted with an iron eagle) returns the platen to open position.

The fantastic decoration peculiar to the Columbian was not a reflection of the taste of the times, but an intentional effort on the part of Clymer to make the press unforgettable. The serpents, eagle, caduceus, etc. were a sales technique. Lord Stanhope’s press has an extremely austere and modern appearance compared to the Columbian.

Decoration aside, the Columbian was a fine press and was held in such high regard by pressmen that its manufacture continued for a century. As late as 1913 Harrild’s still listed new Columbian presses in their catalog.

This press was manufactured by Clymer’s first competitor, Wood & Sharwoods of Aldersgate Street, London. (90 inches high)

ColumbianPress

Cope, Sherwin & Company designed and built the Imperial press in Shoreditch, London, for only a short time. It is believed that Cope was related to R.W. Cope, the inventor of the Albion press. Although the Imperial shares a number of similarities with the Albion, the Imperial is the more powerful press due to its leverage system which is influenced by Stanhope. A leaf spring raises the platen of the Imperial while the Albion employs a coil spring located in its cap.

These presses are still found working in England, albeit often converted to bookbinders’ requirements. This Imperial had been owned by the same family since it was new and was still printing posters in Long Sutton, England, as late as 1970. (70 inches high)

22x33Imperial
The Albion press is the invention of Richard W. Cope who is thought to have assisted George Clymer, maker of the Columbian press. Cope’s press shows little of Clymer’s influence. Cope eliminated bizarre decoration, used a toggle instead of a beam for leverage, and employed a spring instead of a counterweight to raise the platen.

Cope died in 1828, only eight years after the introduction of his press. J. & J. Barrett were Cope’s executors and carried on his business under the direction of John Hopkinson, Cope’s foreman.

This press was made in Finsbury, London (65 inches high).

14x19Albion
This large table model Albion, made by Cope’s executors, the Barretts, was probably designed for printing hand bills and such ephemera as couldn’t be done efficiently on a large press. (38 inches high)

Other Albion Hand Presses in the collection include:

14×19 circa 1832 (65inches high)

23×36 circa 1860 (87 inches high)

7×10 circa 1862 (30 inches high)

10×15 circa 1860 (39 inches high)


The Washington press differs from the Columbian and Albion in that a very simple toggle joint provides pressure to the platen and on each side of the platen are coil springs which raise it to open position.

The Washington hand press is the invention of Samuel Rust, an American who first produced his press in 1821. In 1834, R. Hoe & Company took over his firm and continued to make the Washington. Many firms manufactured the Washington, some well into the 1900′s. It was the last style of hand press made in the United States.

This press was made and sold by Palmer & Rey of San Francisco, the first successful Far West typefounder. (71 inches high)

Other Washington Hand Presses in the collection include:

20×26 circa 1880 (74 inches high)
16×21 circa 1885 (68 inches high)

24x35Washington
Early in 1850 R. Hoe & Company devised this style of proof press which, along with the hand press, was used for most proofing until the advent of the self-inking proof press in the late 1890′s. This style proof press was copied by other manufacturers and sold widely because of its low cost. (38 inches long) Galley1860
Around 1895, Hoe’s improved proof press appeared with a larger diameter but lighter weight cylinder. A patent medicine doctor named Miles had Hoe make a number of these presses with his name and the product’s name, Miles Nervine, cast into the frame. These presses were distributed to coutry newspapers in exchange for advertising space extolling the curative powers of Miles Nervine. Galley1870
This press has no identification marks and its maker remains unknown. Its large size is uncommon, as presses of this type are generally limited to 6×10 inch capacity. Exceptionally this castings throughout make this press light in weight and readily portable. It was last used on an Indian reservation in Oklahoma to print their newspaper, The Falling Leaf. (66 inches high) 10x15PlatenJob
This table model, hand-operated press is typical of those printing presses popular with amateur as well as small specialty printers. Presses of this type have been manufactured consistently for over a hundred years.

This Daughaday Model 2 appears to be an economy model in that the printer has to ink the type for each impression. J.W. Doughaday & Company manufactured a variety of presses in the later part of the nineteenth century. (13 inches high)

6x9PlatenJob
The Columbian jobber was manufactured from 1878 to 1891 by Curtis & Mitchell of Boston. Although a clamshell press, this Columbian No. 2 jobber has a device which provides a pause in the action of the platen to facilitate feeding. (49 inches high) 6x9PlatenJobFloor
This Perfected Prouty Press was made by George W. Prouty & Company of Boston who manufactured this style press from 1878 until 1926. This clamshell jobber is treadle powered. (55 inches high) 7x11PlatenJob
Technically this Golding No. 6 is of the clamshell variety, however the unique levering employed in most Golding presses puts them into a more sophisticated class. Manufactured in Boston and later in Franklin, Massachusettes, by the Golding Manufacturing Company, the Pearl and Golding presses enjoyed popularity from 1874 to 1927. (An enviable duration among press makers) The company was sold to Thompson-National, makers of the Colts presses.

The unique Golding throwoff mechanism is operated by a short lever on the side of the platen which activates a series of wedges that raise or lower the platen. (58 inches high)

8x12PlatenJob
Made by A. Magand, Paris, this press automatically feeds, prints, and delivers business cards when the hand crank is turned. (22 inches high) AutoCardPress
This typical “News and Job” press, of the English Napier style, had various manufacturers from the 1860′s to about 1910. These drumcylinder presses operated on the single-revolution principle, in that only half the cylinder is utilized for impression while the other half clears the type during the return movement of the bed, hence the large drumlike cylinder. The complete printing cycle takes one revolution of the cylinder, and since the cylinder does not have to be raised to clear the type on the return move, as in a two-revolution press, there is no throwoff mechanism.

This early Potter uses a complex of levers and springs to buffer the reversals of of the bed. Later models employed air cylinders. Delivery is to the rear of the cylinder, printed-side-down, “bob tail” style. The printed-side-down feature alleviates turning over the sheets for backing-up. Since the cylinder packing was usually of felt, this type of press was not intended for quality work such as the two-revolution presses could provide.

From the 1900′s on, country newspapers graduated to small webfed presses such as the Cox. Nevertheless, some drum-cylinder presses survived, as did this C. W. Potter, Jr. which was printing the Cucumonga Times in California as recently as 1964. (63 inches high)

24x36DrumCylinder
This press was nicknamed “Grasshopper” because the cylinder, traveling the length of the bed, is activated by two slotted bars which swing back and forth resembling the legs of a grasshopper. The press is extremely light-weight, considering the size sheet it can handle. Seven, eight, and nine column presses invented by Enoch Prouty were manufactured in the eighties by the Wisconsin firm of D. G. Walker & Company, who continued this style press, with modifications, into the early twentieth century. Enoch Prouty was a Baptist minister desirous of printing a temperance paper and, not being able to afford any presses available, he designed his own. Prouty had his press manufactured and, because of its modest price, light weight, and ready source of power (hand), it was adopted by country printers. The cylinder picks up the sheet from the feed-board, travels the length of the bed, releases the sheet, and returns to the feed-board similarly to the action of a modern proofpress. The throw-off is in the bed which descends before the return of the cylinder. Impression is effected by wheels locked underneath the bearers. (9 feet long) 25x38CountryNewspaper
The Campbell Company made a variety of presses into the twentieth century including one of the first web-fed country presses to print from flat type forms. In the operation of this early hand cranked Campbell, the sheet is fed to grippers on the bottom of the cylinder and moves under the cylinder for printing. When the complete form is printed, the cylinder is thrown off impression, and a quadrant gear reverses its rotation. The sheet, still held by the grippers, is pushed onto the fly which delivers it printed side down.

This press has been printing the same Kansas country-newspaper since 1871, when it is believed to have been purchased used. In 1970 the Howard Courant Citizen gave up its faithful Campbell and changed, somewhat abruptly, to the offset process. (13 feet long)

33x48CountryNewspaper
This kind of press was used to print intaglio plates such as wedding announcements. Engraving presses of this style are not much used for commercial work today and have been adopted by artists for printing etchings.

An accumulation of dried ink and alum from the hand of the pressman is in evidence on the three original handles.

This press was manufactured by M. M. Keltons & Son, New York, in the late nineteenth century and is very little different from copperplate presses used in Rembrandt’s time. (54 inches high)

9x10Copperplate
Manufactured by D. & J. Greig, Edinburg, this press embodies all the principles of a typical scraper-style press. Early lithograph presses attempted to employ a cylinder for impression such as had been in long use on copperplate presses, but these early cylinder presses had a tendency to break the stones. The scraper press is a continuation of Senefelder’s earliest attempts at lithography. By 1850 the lithographic hand press was perfected, and all innovative efforts were devoted to the development of powered lithography. Today hand presses survive as artist’s tools for fine lithography.
(59 inches high)
18x22Lithographic
This cutter uses a hand cranked flywheel instead of the customary lever. The hand wheel is put into motion and a clutch is engaged activating the blade which, after effecting one cut, is stopped by an automatic braking mechanism.

This style of cutter represents a cross between a lever cutter and the full power cutter, both of which survive. Probably this cutter and others of its type expired because of their hybrid nature.

The Howard Iron Works of Buffalo manufactured this cutter which was advertised as a “low price” machine.
(59 inches high)

32FlyWheelPaperCutter
This typewriter with a linotype keyboard arrangement was sold by the Empire Typefoundry, Buffalo. Very few of these machines were made and today their exact purpose is obscure. Possibly this kind of typewriter was intended for the small newspaper office where the editorial staff also operated the linotype.
(9.5 inches high)
Linowriter
Developed by Joseph Thorne around 1887, this machine was marketed with successive improvements under the names: Thorne, Simplex, and Unitype. From 1894 until its demise around 1906, the American Type Founders Company owned Unitype, undoubtedly to support their declining foundry type market. The Thorne, Simplex and Unitype were the only machines to actually set and distribute foundry type which achieved a large measure of popularity. Around the turn of the century these machines competed successfully with the Linotype and Monotype. It has been estimated that 2000 of these machines were in operation in the United States and Canada.

Operation of the keyboard releases individual foundry type contained in vertical channels of the cylindrical magazine. The type is assembled in a galley and justified by hand. Distribution is effected by key-notches cut or cast into the type. Although advertised as a “one-man typesetter,” it was more efficiently operated by two men—one operating the keyboard and the other justifying. In 1904, when new speed records for typesetting machines were novel, the Inland Printer announced that at the Paducah Sun, Kentucky, two men operating a Simplex set 315,700 ems of 8 point type in one forty-eight hour week.

Competition from the Linotype and specifically from the inexpensive Linotype Junior finally closed the doors of the Unitype Company. The Unitype is rare today because machines taken in trade by competitors were immediately destroyed.
(62 inches high)

Unitype
The Typograph machine was developed during the same period as Merganthaler’s and is technically a linotype in that it casts a type slug.

The matrices are suspended on wires, and when activated by the keyboard, slide by gravity into casting position. Circular wedge justifiers spread the line before casting. After the slug is cast the mold opens on three sides, eliminating the trimming operation. Manual tilting of the matrix frame causes the matrices to distribute. Each line must be distributed before assembling another.

John R. Rogers’ Typograph was introduced in 1890 and because of its simplicity and light weight was considered a fine machine. The Rogers Typograph was involved in a patent infringement battle, as were many new fledged typesetting machines of this period. An injunction was secured against its manufacture in the United States, and only a year after the debut of the Typograph, Rogers’ company and its important patent rights to the double-wedge justifier were sold to Merganthaler. The Typograph was a direct predecessor of the Linotype Junior, introduced by Merganthaler in 1902.

The bizarre, antiquated appearance of this machine belies the fact that, in a slightly streamlined version, it is still being manufactured in Germany and can be had equipped with such up-to-date type faces as Helvetica.
(62 inches high)

TypographicLinecasting
This was the first of Merganthaler’s machines to take on the characteristic linotype appearance continued to this day. The largest type this machine can set is 11 point as the magazine is 2 inches narrower at the escapements than the standard width adopted in 1902.

This model, serial number 160, is one of 225 machines made to use Merganthaler’s “step justification” spaceband and thereby circumvent patents on the double wedge band then in litigation. J. D. Schuckers was finally awarded the patent rights to the double wedge justification system after long litigation. The Merganthaler Company later acquired these rights for $416,000 and resumed the double wedge system.

There is a large complement of brass parts on this machine, and it differs from later models particularly in the pump spring and the line delivery air cylinder seen protruding from under the assembler belt. The knife block adjustments are designated by name, from Ruby to Small Pica.

(79 inches high)

Model1Linotype
Name plate and knife block of the linotype
Hans Petersen and his two brothers began to design an inexpensive line-casting machine using all the important principles of the Linotype. The machine was introduced in 1912 as the “Linograph” and because it cost about half as much as a Model Linotype it quickly became a favorite of country printers. The serial number of this machine is 32.

Although the Linograph functions on the same principles as the Linotype and Intertype, it differs in construction. Petersen’s Linograph has a vertical magazine and a single elevator not unlike Merganthaler’s early “Blower” machine. When a distributor jam happens, the operator merely stands up, and the bar, screws and distributor box are at eye level and are easily accessible. Linograph matrices were unique until 1923 when the machine was converted to use Linotype and Intertype matrices. The early matrices were somewhat smaller and had the advantage of having their faces deep-set which eliminated the need for routing slugs. The Linograph improved its flexibility to the point where it could produce sixty point type and one model had a twelve magazine capacity.

Hans Petersen, inventor and leader of the company, died in 1924, but the business continued, and in 1938 the new model 50 was received enthusiastically. But a number of factors, including under-capitalization and World War II, led to the sale of the Company in 1944 to the Intertype Corporation.
(71 inches high)

Model1Linotype1912
punches stones
tools sticks