Thursday, 10 April 2008

My first letterpress machine - an Arab platen press

I acquired this Arab treadle platen press, with 70 cases of type, in about 1988, and set it up in the Star Brewery in Lewes, where I shared a space with four other artists and also did my paintings (see my blog: The press and type came originally from the Ditchling Press, and the word was that it had been used by David Jones and Eric Gill.


Mavis said...

Back in about 1957 my Father and I owned a Cropper FF platen, We bought it from a chap in West Bromwich for about £20 (I think) it was in pieces and he delivered it to us in Gloucestershire. My Dad was a Toolmaker so he had no difficulty reassembling it. The most trouble we had was with ink rollers, we ended up casting our own out of gelatin; in a mould made by my Dad of course! We couldn't afford very good type, used a firm called Dosseter in Westferry road (that rings a bell now in print!!) Later we used Mouldtype in Morpeth.

Mavis said...

PS I'm the Ed! Mavis is My wife.

Parimal Manek said...

I remember using one of these machines at King Edward VI School Southampton, Printing Club.It had been donated to the school, complete with a set of Font Trays, and other paraphanlia. This was in 1981. It was then donated to a museum at Solent University in that year.
I am not sure what happened to it then.