Oldest Press
Chandler and Price, 1885
Chandler and Price, 1885
Featured Oldest Press Story #6:
Chandler and Price, 1885
Submitted by Bob Michael of RW Michael Printing Company, Akron, OH

"This press is a Chandler and Price Company hand-feed press. She was made in Cleveland, Ohio, in the late 1800s.

It is sort of a unique press because it is a 7" by 11" image size and the only one I have ever seen in this size in my entire 59 years as a printer. Most of the other Chandler and Price presses I have seen are 8" by 12" image size or larger.

It shows the Patent date on the press as being May 26, 1885. So I have to believe that this machine is well over 100 years old. One can only wonder about the type of jobs that were produced on her way back when.

Well, my history with this press began as a 14-year-old kid in 1950, when I used the money I saved from delivering newspapers to buy this press. I moved the press into the basement of my parents' house. Let's just say mom wasn't thrilled to have cans of ink and a clanky old press in her basement. But she let me start the R. W. Michael Printing Co. anyway.

This press let me grow into a bigger shop over the years. There were many hours spent hand-feeding sheets into this press: handbills for grocery stores, letterheads, bumper stickers, heck I even used to die cut small jobs on her. I'm sure there have even been more than a few sets of NCR PAPER* brand carbonless crash numbered on the old girl too.

We don't really use her anymore, but she stands ready to have ink on her rollers and get back to work. I'm sure with a small amount of oil in her joints and a few test sheets to get the hand-feeding rhythm back, we could get some printing done once again."

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