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Object Name Press, Blocking
Date ca. 1808-1820
Description Large printing press, made of wood and iron, with some leather and textile elements. The press measures approximately 75 inches high. It consists of a wooden frame, an upright rack with a cast iron platen assembly, and a horizontal frontal extension of cast iron rails supporting the bed. The platen is surmounted by a torsion toggle mechanism with a wood-handled lever. An oval counterweight behind the press would facilitate the lifting of the platen after impression. The bed, where the movable type would be held in contact with paper, would be run in and out by means of a crank located underneath the bed rails.
(Keywords: Early American, Machine)
Acquisition Museum Purchase
Ownership and History This printing press was previously identified as a Stansbury press, ca. 1820, originally from Schoharie, New York. In 2013 it was tentatively re-attributed by printing technology historian Bob Oldham as the work of George Clymer, ca. 1808-1809. If that attribution is correct, this may be the only surviving example of the trials Clymer made of different impression mechanisms before he settled, in 1813, on the design of the Columbian hand press.

The press was acquired by the Staten Island Historical Society from collector George Simmons in 1960. It had been found in a barn in upstate New York and was believed to have been used in the early 19th century for printing the "American Herald" newspaper of Schoharie, New York.
Earliest Date 1808
Latest Date 1820
Subjects Printing industry
Printing presses
Lexicon Sub-category Printing T&E
Associated People Simmons, George
Catalog Number X98.0800
Support Acknowledgment Online Collections Database record made possible by the Staten Island Historical Society, March 2014.
Legal Status Images and text in this database are copyrighted by the Staten Island Historical Society unless otherwise noted. Items represented here are from the collections of the Staten Island Historical Society. Materials reproduced for personal non-commercial use must credit the Staten Island Historical Society. Commercial licensing is available.