A Descriptive and Illustrated Pamphlet of the Novelty Job Printing Presses
- Publication date
- Public Domain Mark 1.0
- CircuitousRoot for Stephen O. Saxe
- Stephen O. Saxe
This catalogue is a part of An Archive of Amateur Press Catalogues. For a page linking to other catalogues in this archive, go to: https://archive.org/details/AnArchiveOfAmateurPressCatalogues
Stephen O. Saxe, who digitized this item from his collection, explains the significance of the Woods presses in this way:
"Benjamin O. Woods of Boston was the co-inventor of the Novelty press - a little-known, but significant amateur press. It was the first treadle platen made for non-professional printers, in 1867. Already on the market were versions of the Army press and the Lowe press.
"Woods was an apothecary and he probably conceived of the press as a low-cost way to print his own drug labels. He marketed the press to small business owners like himself, but at about the same time the amateur journalism craze of the 1870s and 1880s provided another ready market. He and William S. Tuttle patented the press August 6, 1867 (US Patent 67,475.) It was a hand-inking press -- Woods did not think it possible to design a self-inking press for a price that amateurs could afford. 'A good self-inker can not be made for a price within the reach of the average purchaser,' he wrote. Thus he left the way open for Golding, who made the first self-inking press for amateurs, soon followed by Kelsey.
"Tuttle left the firm of Woods & Tuttle in 1868, leaving the business with Woods. Woods issued catalogues until his death in 1873, when the business was continued by his heirs. My earliest Woods catalogue is from 1875. [This is the catalogue reprinted here] Others are from 1877, 1881, and 1883. The catalogues show the presses, type specimens, cuts, borders, and printing accessories. The Woods businss was eventually bought by William Kelsey in 1887."
Further information about these presses is available in Elizabeth M. Harris' book Personal Impressions: The Small Printing Press in Nineteenth-Century America. (Boston: David R. Godine, 2004), to which acknowledgement is made for some of the information above.
Saxe also has images of these presses online. See:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/sos222/13544347805/ (for a 5x7 duodecimo press, missing the knuckle joint and treadle linkage, but with original paint and pin-striping)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/sos222/13612733245/ (for the same press in a catalogue)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/sos222/13615286895/ (for an 1873 invoice for the same kind of press)
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