Liberty Press
(often referred to as Degener's Press, after the inventor)

Pedal or Power Operated Hand-fed Platen

  Circa 1910 


AVAILABLE IN THE FOLLOWING SIZES:

Manufactured by

F.M. Weiler's Liberty Machine Works

BERLIN

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * This press was invented in 1859 by Frederick Otto Degener, of New York, formerly a draughtsman for George Phineas Gordon, inventor and manufacturer of the Franklin (or Gordon Press). The principle was that of the Gordon, that is, a near vertical bed and platen drawn towards each other in the manner of a hinge,  the platen being tilted almost vertical to align with the bed just prior to impression. After impression the bed moves away and the platen tilts back to a nearly horizontal position to allow for the taking off and feeding in of a fresh sheet. Whilst the platen is open the forme rollers ink the forme. The difference was Degener's forme rollers were fixed and the forme and ink disc rotated under them. An advantage this press had over other platens was that alterations could be made to the forme whilst the chase was still locked in the bed. Reputed to be a very quiet and well manufactured machine. An impression throw-off was added in the mid 1880's. Manufacture of these presses ceased in the United States in 1890.
A few years after Degener's death in 1873 his partner, F. M. Weiler, bought out the Degener's family interest in the business. In 1881 he established a factory in Berlin where manufacture of these presses continued for about 30 years.
James Moran, in his "Printing Presses" (1973) states that this press was very popular (10,000 plus sold world-wide) and, according to his sources, the most-used platen in Belgium.

Photo courtesy of  Herwig Kempenaers.

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