I have enjoyed both my Kelsey and Chandler & Price letterpress printing presses since 1957. Since that early age, my enjoyment with my presses has continued. I just enjoy surrounding myself with presses, and buy old home letter press shops whenever I can. As a youngster, I also worked in my darkroom with black and white photography, and collected US Commemorative Stamps, which lead to my pleasure with history. All these interests have continued, and rolled into the career decision of becoming a full time out-of-print bookseller, and newspaper publisher. I shared my printing background in an email to a press restorer in 2018, and just discovered (to my delight 9 July 2021) that he shared that email on his website EXCELSIOR PRESS — please click here and enjoy – Odd way to get a printing press.. win it on a TV quiz show in 1957!
Buying presses and equipment whenever possible, I currently have the following items I do not need, and would like to place in a new home for someone else’s enjoyment. So, scroll through the listings of presses and equipment below. If you are new to letterpress, and would like to get a wonderful introduction, I have made a PDF of THE PRINTER’S GUIDE BOOK, Published by The Kelsey Company, Meriden, Conn. 8th Edition. This PDF is from my own copy that I obtained in 1957. Forty pages (32 plus 8 supplemental), and everything you need to know to operate your letterpress shop. Happy to send you the PDF for $5.95. Email me, and I will send you a PayPal invoice.
Currently I have available for the next printer
3×5, 5×8 and 6×10 Kelsey outfits
KELSEY 5×8 EXCELSIOR MODEL N
Just purchased a large lot. I have pulled out what I wish to keep for my collection of over ten presses and equipment, and am excited to make this outfit available. Everything ready to go – type, chases, furniture, leading, composing stick, and composing stone. Rollers may need to be recored, but not a problem. You must come see this shop complete with handmade table to hold all the type cases and drawer with furniture and leading.
Price for what you see above — $995 – come see to appreciate.
and additional type available – see below
KELSEY 6×10 SIDE LEVER PRESS
This is a lovely smooth operating press, with supplies and accessories. You will need rollers, or have the old ones recored. Then lock up your type, ink it up (you will need ink) and pull the side lever and make your impressions. You can handle many nice jobs and projects with this size press. I like this better than the Chandler and Price 6×10 presses I have had because it is much lighter, and one person can lift it.
besides what you see in the images above and below, not shown in these images, I will include furniture so you can lock up your forms in the chases. ABOVE is the front table for the press, a composing stick, roller wheels, quoins and a key. BELOW included an extra chase, tympan paper and backing paper, and smaller spacers, and gauge pins.
Price for press and supplies – $1650
SIGWALT – IDEAL NO 5 – 6X9 PRESS
I purchased this press a few years back even though it is missing its ink table. It had been used for die cutting, and as is often the problem, the ink table is removed and misplaced. I had found someone who said he could have one cast and milled for me, but after a couple years he stopped answering my emails. There must be an ink disk / table out there somewhere, or else someone still could make one. Happy to buy one if you have one, but otherwise, if you would like this press as is for die-cutting, or eventually bringing back to ink up — $350 as is.
Click images below to expand to larger image gallery and scroll.
KELSEY 3×5 LETTERPRESS with Supplies
Here is my remaining available Kelsey Excelsior press with some additional supplies. Not as smooth gliding as I would like, but a nice serviceable press for your small projects – art projects, or die cutting.
and, the supplies included with this outfit – furniture for the chase, lead spacing, roller wheels, composing stick, gauge pins, some new tympan paper for the press, I will provide the buyer with a PDF copy of the Kelsey Guide to Printing, made from my personal original.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED – chase bars (I can provide dimensions so you can make them, or there is an Ebay seller with them) new rollers (very easy to buy new, and something that always has to be bought new when getting a press). Ink, and then any type you may want unless you will be using the press for die cutting or your art projects.
Price for all items pictured above in the 3×5 outfit – $345 — Reduced for a new home – $315
TWO TYPE LOTS with CASES
Take a look at these images, then come look at what is in these cases. This first lot is in a handmade case type with nine full California style type cases. Must be seen to appreciated for a wonderful addition to your letterpress print shop. Well worth the price of $550.
and smaller cases – as a lot $295 — will separate
5 x 8 inch CHASE – KELSEY PRINTING PRESS – LETTERPRESS – MACHINE MADE
I recently purchase another press outfit that had a number of chases, two of which are not Kelsey manufacture, but are extremely well machined. When I got this shop, type and furniture in these chases were locked up by quoins which must be used because unlike the Kelsey chases (which can be used with quoins) there are no set screws through the sides to press on chase bars to lock up the form.
If you do not have a chase for your press, you cannot use your press. If you do have one, you can alway use extra chases in your print shop to keep a job locked up while you run another.
Here is this one chase in the 5×8 Kelsey Excelsior Model N that I just purchased — you can just see the notch at the top to hold the chase and chase bed in place.
With this chase I am including two quoin sets – but NO KEY
In this image you can see how well machined this chase is with screws holding the four sides together – again note this was not made for set screws.
you can see the notch at the bottom of the chase to slide into the chase bed (NOT INCLUDED) and there is a notch on the top side to be latched into the press. Below shows this chase in the chase bed for this machine – again for illustration of the proper fit, CHASE BED NOT INCLUDED.
Price — $45 for the above
and I have a second identical (no painting on edge) available also with quoins but no key
Shipping – $10 Priority Mail — packed in cardboard and with tracking
RUBBER TYPE – SUPERIOR ROTARY PRINTING PRESS
and VARI-LINE TYPE HOLDERS
A unique collection that was mixed in with the accessories of a Kelsey Printing Press shop I recently purchased. Perfect for display with your 1950s-1960s Superior Rotary Printing Press – or even to use with it.
pictured directly below are top to bottom:
1-Borders for Use with Superior Rotary Printing Presses and Vari-Line Type Holders
2-Headline Letters for Use with Superior Rotary Printing Presses and Vari-Line Type Holders – after I took the image I found underneath additional items identical to what you see in the open box top right
3-Rubber Type for Use with Superior Rotary Printing Presses and Vari-Line Type Holders
And then with no identification, but possibly in the original box is this set of mounted rubber stamp letters and a few cuts. use your imagination with these.
and the four boxes with lids on
PRICE – $40 for the lot plus shipping
“THE PRINTER’S HELPER” – 47 ISSUES – 1964-1973 – KELSEY PRINTING PRESS COMPANY
THE KELSEY COMPANY, MERIDEN, CONNECTICUT
“PRINT YOUR OWN” – PRINTING PRESS – LETTERPRESS
The Kelsey Company’s house organ THE PRINTER’S HELPER. This four page publication contained tips, lessons, business hints, and of course some ads.
“WHAT TO PRINT AND HOW TO PRINT IT”
“FOR THOSE WHO PRINT FOR OTHERS OR FOR THEMSELVES”
INCLUDED ARE – Years and Numbers
1964 — 372, 373, 374, 375, 376, 377, 378, 379, 380
1965 — 381, 382, 383, 384, 385, 386, 388, 389
1966 — 390, 391, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 397, 398
1967 — 399, 400, 403
1968 — 404, 405, 406, 407, 408, 409, 410
1969 — 411, 412, 413, 416
1970 — 417, 418, 419, 420
1971 — 422
1973 — 431, 432
Some issues have binder three-ring binder holes. Click on this link for larger images of some of the front covers.
Price for the entire lot – $65 – Shipping $6
Interested? Press outfits will need to be picked up, or maybe following payment Imay be able to meet you within 100 miles. Contact me, click on this link for contact information. Thank you, yours, RAY
c1975 – KELSEY PRINTERS’ SUPPLY BOOK – NO. 75-T – LETTERPRESS MERIDEN, CT
An essential reference for the current owner of a Kelsey printing press. You see what was available, great illustrations, including a section of “Cuts For Illustrating” which could be duplicated for photo offset, making a new cut, or even a polymer plate. I will keep sorting my archives for other extra items such as the paper sample kits, and copies of The Printer’s Helper.
PRICE – $20 plus $4.49 shipping
AMERICAN PRINTING HISTORY ASSOCIATION – APHA NEWSLETTER – 32 ISSUES BETWEEN 1995 AND 2004
The APHA produced a newsletter for members from 1974 to 2013. For the first twenty years it was published six times per year. Thereafter, it was published four times per year. It featured news of upcoming APHA events, reports of the activities of the regional chapters and other items of interest to printing historians. Beginning with Number 172 (Fall 2009) the Newsletter became PDF only. Publication ceased in 2013 when its content was incorporated into the APHA website. Source – AMERICAN PRINTING HISTORY ASSOCIATION
Offered as a lot, I have 32 issues from 1995 to 2004. NOT A STRAIGHT RUN, Numbers included are: 122 – 123 – 124 – 125 (but erroneously numbered 124) – 126 – 127 – 128 – 129 – 130 – 131 – 132 – 133 – 134 – 135 – 136 – 137 – 138 – 139 – 140 – 141 – 142 – 143 – 144 – 146 – 147 – 148 – 149 – 151 – 152 – 153 – 154 – 155 — almost a straight run missing two issues (145 and 150) from the run. Below are two images of the lot, issues fanned out, but not showing them all. Nice item for your letterpress printing history library or collection.
Price for the lot – $30
Shipping – $4.49 Media Mail
PRESSES and EQUIPMENT I HAVE RECENTLY SOLD
KELSEY 3×5 LETTERPRESS with Supplies – SOLD
This is the smoothest moving 3×5 that I have owned. It is mounted on an old wooden base to stay secure while printing and making impressions. The paint is original, not offensive, and really does not need repainting. Following are some more images, and then the supplies I have to go with this printing outfit. I have the four images below in a gallery view which you can “click” on to see larger size images.
here is the press with the supplies that go with it – followed by close ups:
Included are: furniture for the chase, chase bars, lead spacing, roller wheels, composing stick, gauge pins, a pack of new tympan paper for the press, and a rough copy of the Kelsey Guide to Printing.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED – new rollers (very easy to buy new, and something that always has to be bought new when getting a press). Ink, and then any type you may want unless you will be using the press for die cutting or your art projects.
I have a set of used 3×5 rollers which I will sell for $75 if a purchaser of one of my presses would like them. In addition I have some type in cases I may part with to a press buyer.
Price for all items pictured above in the 3×5 outfit –
KELSEY 5×8 LETTERPRESS with Supplies and Type
This is the fourth 5×8 that I have owned. I am keeping the one I bought maybe ten years ago because it serves so many uses. This is a versatile size press, and just perfect for home or small business use. The only better size press to have (in my opinion) is a 6×10 bed. I have regretted selling the four 6×10 Chandler & Price presses I have owned over the years, but in December 2019 I purchased a Kelsey 6×10. It is lighter in weight than the C&P the way it is designed. I could even lift it myself. Probably a “keeper.”
This press operates fine, but for some reason over the years was covered with lots of different paints. I have redone the chase with the appropriate “machine gray” paint. If I do not complete the painting prior to someone’s purchase, they get the paint also.
here is a gallery of additional views of the press – click on any of them to open to larger images:
and, here are the supplies and accessories included with this outfit:
Included are: furniture, quoins and quoin key to lock up your forms, Printer’s Guide, an old Kelsey Supply Book, Tympan paper, composing stick, galley tray, roller guides, roller wheels you will see in one of the type cases.
ALSO INCLUDED are these four large type cases with type – again click on any image to open a gallery for larger views:
and, stacked up
WHAT YOU WILL NEED – new rollers (very easy to buy new, and something that always has to be bought new when getting a press). And, Ink.
Price for all items pictured above in the 5×8 outfit –
$775 — SOLD
3 x 5 inch CHASE – KELSEY PRINTING PRESS
If you do not have a chase for your press, you cannot use your press. If you do have one, you can alway use extra chases in your print shop to keep a job locked up while you run another. This 3×5 inch chase is from an Kelsey Excelsior, but should fit any Kelsey 3×5 press made in Meriden, Connecticut. The chase has the set screws to hold the “chase bars” up against the furniture, BUT, NOT INCLUDED are the “chase bars.” They are easily made, and I would be happy to provide the dimensions from a set I have with a press if you would like to have your own made.
side view showing the screws and holes
and, here is the chase laying in the chase bed (not included) from the 3×5 Kelsey Press.