print, type, Uncategorized

Build Your Own Gutenberg Press!


Or so it says on the front of this leaflet. I was chatting with a colleague last week and mentioned that I was looking for an old John Bull Printing Kit. I had looked at the modern kits available but they were all pretty crappy rubber stamping kits like these. Sure enough, a week later, same colleague brought me a mucky little bag of stuff and said ‘I was going to chuck this out but you might as well have it!’ An absolute star – thanks Pete – a special gift is on the way…


Anyway, I had it out of the bag that night and had a look at the contents; its the remains of a mini Gutenberg press kit. There’s not much of it left – no press at all, but there is a forme and a bit of old rubber type and some spacing bars, a roller, tweezers and an old dried up ink tin.

Not much to get working with, but I thought I’g post some images anyway. I think I will get the modern rubber stamp letters and give this a go soon…




But the leaflet was a real treasure. A brief history of printing and the Gutenberg Press, some modern printing information, instructions on how to build the kit, use the press, some typographic terminology and proofreaders marks! I bet you don’t get all that with a modern kit!


But here’s the whole leaflet. These are quite big

kit5 kit6 kit7 kit8 kit9 kit10 kit11 kit12 kit13 kit14 kit15 kit16

And the ink pad too was pretty nice and has 1972 written inside the lid…




I’ve had a quick squint at the old interweb for some background information on this kit, the series and the company, but it has been a bit difficult. Rovex Scale models were a subsidiary company of Hornby, the model railway company, and went on to make scalextric sets. Every mention of the names Rovex and Tri-ang comes up with shedloads of model train stuff. I guess I’ll leave than for someone else…

Does anybody have a complete working set?


6 thoughts on “Build Your Own Gutenberg Press!

  1. Hey! I was doing some last minute research on some Gutenberg press terminology and this was the second article to come up on Google! 🙂 L

  2. I had this kit when I was a kid, though I remember owning it in the sixties rather than 72 (could be wrong). I was looking for a way of buying it online when I came across your blog. Thanks for the images.

    1. Sirs:
      A friend gave me a “Wizer Equipment, Inc.” 1/10th scale Gutenberg Printing Press as payment for a small bet. It is new in the box, hardwood and brass and string. Wizer was from Nationial City California. The box has “Made in Taiwan” printed on the cover. It looks to have about a hundred pieces. The pieces are still in their original plastic packages. Is this worth any money?

      1. That sounds like a great kit – I din’t know what it is worth though – but judging by the amount of traffic this post gets, I would think that someone would be prepared pay good money for it! Try Ebay – look for similar items, as well as toy auctions too. Good luck!

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