No 45                        Press Gallery            May, 2008

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Size 14 x 22 inches

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Manufactured by

The Gordon Press Works

New York

George Gordon is better known for his Franklin range of platen jobbers, however he also patented a range of  treadle-powered small cylinder machines, his first I believe, in August, 1853 (patent No. 9904) followed by numerous versions over the years!
This <1865> machine was known in the trade as a 'segment cylinder' . The original version , as far as I can tell, was patented a year earlier (patent No. 41,841, March, 1864). The motion of the bed, driven via a crank, drove the impression cylinder. The cylinder is known as a 'rocker', that is it reciprocates forward and backward for only a portion of its circumference. It revolved in fixed bearings, so to avoid hitting the type on the return stroke, the bed carriage was lowered by eccentric oscillating shafts beneath its tracks, something the patent doesn't mention! Two inkers with geared rider and distributor were driven from the bed rack (the longer rack in the foreground obviously needed to drive the rollers after the bed has passed underneath the cylinder). Sheets were fed in to adjustable guides on the feed-board, then taken by cylinder 'reciprocating nippers' [grippers], printed and then deposited overhead into a delivery tray via another set of delivery grippers, "directly in front of the printer" -- a term Gordon used extensively and obviously successfully  in all his advertising!
Originally his range of presses were manufactured for him by outside machine shops but eventually he built his own modern factory at Rahway, New Jersey. Pproduction of cylinder machines was small compared to his range of famous Franklin platens.

Steve Saxe supplied the picture and Doug Charles provided the details concerning the unusual bed action.
Many thanks gentlemen!

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