Letterpress

Little Press’s Big Brother

As the weather has improved, so have my letterpress possibilities. Yesterday I collected a new press and various equipment on a long-term loan from my good friend Christian (I have mentioned him elsewhere on this blog, and will more than likely do so again – he’s a splendid chap!) who has had this stash of goodies lurking unused for a few years. Earlier this year when I was talking about getting a press, Christian offered his up on loan as he would rather see it being used than sit gathering dust. I wholeheartedly agree – these things were made to be used after all! The image above shows the scale against my one – and makes it look really tiny, which it is, but, well it looks a bit puny here. It’s basically the same type of press but the construction/mechanism is  bit different. It can print up to 5 x 3″ (126 x 76mm) – hence the name – these were called the Adana ‘Three-Five’ (mine is a diminutive 3 x 2″ [76 x 51mm]) and this one has a little counter mechanism attached which you can see at the foot of the image below, operated by the press arm pressing the lever to advance the wheel numbers.

What was nice, is that the press was still full of type from the last job it did. (The rollers are not installed in these images)

A barn dance? The perfect opportunity to break out the Rockwell Outline! (and three others!)

There were also two chases, again one still fitted with the last job printed – a little letterhead strip, probably used for invoicing. Before I could get using my new press, these would have to be taken apart and redistributed…

There is a fair bit of type with the press. Mostly well organised in little cases, but there were a few tubs full of pied type. I have only just finished sorting and redistributing my own collection too! Ah well, I can think of worse things to do on a sunny sunday afternoon than sit under a parasol sorting out type!

Well I think it must run in the family (much to Mrs. Lestaret’s horror!) because I had both of my children helping at one point! It was the youngest, Lowercase, who got really stuck in though. We sorted out a tub of pied 12pt Spartan, and a tub of mixed founts – 12pt and 6pt Spartan, 12pt Times Bold, 10pt Times Roman, and a whole bunch of bits from just about every other fount, plus a load of spacing! Bless her, she’s got a good eye for reading text in reverse for an eight-year-old!

In all, there are nine cases full (some with more than one fount) that are largely sorted out, but will get a fettle as I use them.

And also this quirky drilled case which makes ten in total…

…and a full box of Times Roman!

And with the wooden furniture, spacing, rules and such, this makes a fine resource. As I was going through the founts I inkstamped a couple of characters for reference:

As I said at the beginning of this post, Summer seems to be here, and as well as my offspring wanting in on a little letterpress action in the sunshine, so did this little bug which had taken quite a fancy to a Spartan M!

Even the bugs have got the letterpress bug!

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3 thoughts on “Little Press’s Big Brother

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