Model Press

The fore­run­ner to Adana on both sides of the Atlantic

“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 34 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)

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.