Model Press

“Everyone his own printer” was the phrase used by many, but claimed by the Model Press people. This small press was never sold just as a toy, or machine for the hobbyist, but was marketed to appeal to the widest audience.

William Clark and Joshua Daughaday patented the design for the Model Press in the USA in 1874. Carlo Giuseppe Squintani took the British patent out on 10 April 1877 — the Model Press had arrived in the UK.

Squintani sold presses from Summer 1877 — but there’s a question over whether those first presses were manufactured in the UK or imported. By 1888 Squintani’s adverts claimed the presses were made by a high-quality engineer in London.  Bob Richardson has recently discovered that the engineer was Peter Hooker Ltd in Walthamstow.

To ensure widest appeal the presses were made in a variety of sizes from the No. 0 (with a 2 and one-eighth inch by 3 3/4 inch chase) to the treadle-driven No. 6 Job (with a 9″ x 13″ chase). The American and French numbering system for model presses differed from the UK versions. The table below shows the key sizes.

Model Chase Size (inches) Hand- or Treadle-driven Weight* (lbs)
No. 0 2.125 x 3.75 Hand None Given
No. 1 3.125 x 5.125 Hand 65
No. 2 5 x 7.5 Hand 112
No. 3 6 x 9 Hand 148
No. 3 High Speed 6 x 9 Treadle None Given
No. 4 7 x 10.5 Hand 248
No. 5 Job 7 x 11 Treadle None Given
No. 6 Job 9 x 13 Treadle None Given

* Weights from John Ryder’s Printing for Pleasure.

Model Treadle Press (from Excelsior Catalogue)
Model Treadle Press (from Excelsior Catalogue)

W E Cook advertised the ‘Improved Model’ press between 1898 and 1900  in only one size: an 11″ x 5″ treadle platen.

While the Model Press was sold for nearly a hundred years, the appeal of the Adana seemed to eclipse it despite the Model being a more sturdy-built press.

In common with Adana, Squintani sold complete outfits including the press, type and ink from their showrooms in Farringdon, London.


Information on this page kindly supplied by Toby Hardwick, Nick Smith and Bob Richardson.