Here at Fluid Ink, we have a collection of 5 presses, of various ages and sizes, all of which are fully functioning - definitely no museum pieces allowed!
Golding Pearl #2 Platen Press. 1892
This pretty girl was a personal press - kind of like your Canon printers for the home office - only a little heavier. Many of these were used within parishes to print information to distribute to parishioners. Mavis is treadle operated. She is quiet and fast and leaves the most perfect amount of ink onto paper. I found her through Briar Press (an awesome resource BTW) When I first got a little excited by letterpress 8 years ago. She popped up in my search for sale in Sydney, I quickly snapped her up!
Chandler and Price Old style Platen Press. 1913
He is our big boy, our main workhorse, he is the second oldest and the second press I purchased. He was stored in a barn for 40 years in QLD until I shipped him over to WA scrubbed him down, replaced the rollers, but nothing much else was wrong with him!
Originally when they were made in 1913, they were treadle operated, then ran by steam engine on shafts and finally electric motors were added (phew!)
Model Printing Press Co, table top platen No3 Circa 1930
A heavy thing. Nothing subtle about this guy. He is heavy to lift and use. Also a litttle fussy as his rollers need replacing ;-) He is operated by hand by pushing down on the arm/lever.
Table top Adana Press Model No.2. Circa 1935
Such a cute little guy! Used for printing business card sized jobs. Hugo and Red came into my possession via Gumtree! A gentleman was downsizing - him and his father were old pressmen. He was happy to pass onto someone that would use his collection :-) Again, operated by pushing down on the lever. This guy travels with me wherever I exhibit so I can show passers by how letterpress works :-)
Letterpress Proof or galley Press by Honher, West Germany Circa 1940
I had been searching for a flat bed printer after doing a night class at central Tafe Northbridge and having the privilege of being able to use their proofing presses. However, they were troublesome to get a hold of and living in the most isolated city in the world does make shipping extreme. Anyway, eventually I came across this Hohner press for sale in the US. It was just small enough to ship without mortgaging the house for.... It has no bells and whistles, but Is the most fun to be creative on and play with, using my collection of vintage wood type pieces.