Last week I got an email from someone saying that they’ve just bought a house and had a shed full of type and an old Peerless No.2 printing press in their new place, and wondered if I’d like to go around to look at it. It turns out that the house is 400yds from where I live – I can’t believe I searched to find my peerless in Preston and there was one on my doorstep all along.
Anyway, Alan (The owner) asked me to try and find the equipment a good home for a fair price, and I was more than happy to help (I’d hate to see it go to scrap). I’ve just got engaged – woohoo – so my letterpress collecting will have to be put on hold or a bit otherwise wedding guests will either be going hungry, or eating paper. Also, I’m too worried that the floor in my flat will give way if I have any more type in it so I wonder if anyone out there would be interested?
More information and Pictures after the jump
Inside the house is a perfectly useable Peerless No.2, 11×7 inch -the same as my own treadle. It moves freely and 2 of the 4 rollers seem in working condition. All 4 rollers have runners (or trucks) in place and you can easily print with just 2 rollers. In fact, when I’m feeling particularly lazy, this is all I use. The other two rollers could be recovered easily as the cores are still there, despite the perished rubber. The foot treadle is missing the bottom section (about 6 inches has snapped off of the heart-shaped decal of the treadle) but it still turns the machine over and wouldn’t be a barrier to printing. The machine has also been modified slightly on the flywheel to allow a motor to be attached. These motors are in the shed but will need a bit of work to get them running. Other than that, it’s a little dusty but in good condition – it even has both tray tables still there.
As for the rest of the equipment, I’ve only had a quick look around the dusty shed but there’s definitely a load of usable type and enough stuff to start anyone off with a studio. I’ll list what I saw from my quick visit and will update this next week once I have a chance to make a proper inventory – It took me 45 minutes to clear out the shed so I could have a peek! There were some cupboards and filing cabinets that I didn’t have time to look into, so will update on their contents soon.[list style=”list1″ color=”red”]
- 4 type cabinets (2 with closed sides – John Haddon I believe, and 2 with open sides) All full of metal type from 6-60pt
- multiple chases of different sizes, including a few for the peerless press
- Lead cutters
- Metal filing cabinet full of wood/resalite spacing materials
- Tons of regular and narrow-margin quoins
- As many spiders as you could ever wish for!
- 20 trays that are full of type but unfortunately rotten due to damp.
- Loads more that I couldn’t get to, but will update when I have a proper look.
From what I could see, the equipment has been untouched for about 20 years, I found old jobs still locked up in chases from that date. Most of the type and cabinets are in great condition, if a little dusty. One of the cabinets may have a bit of dampness to it but the majority of the drawers are fine and full. I found an old letterhead wrapped around a lockup, stating that a printing company called ‘Double-Aitch printers’ was run from this address. The old owner lived here for 70 years, so it’s an interesting bit of history.
Let me know if you want to have a look at the items, I can put you in touch with the owner. He is looking to sell them hopefully as a job lot but will be interested in offers for individual items and would love them to be used again, rather than going to scrap. I’d recommend having a look first, and you’re more than welcome to pop over to view. I’m going to go back and create a proper inventory of the type and everything else so please let me know if you want me to keep a lookout for anything.