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Ostrander Seymour Hand Press

2014.6.1

Demonstration

1910

Chicago

Illinois

United States

North America

Iron

The Ostrander Seymour is an iron hand press, a type of letterpress invented in the first part of the 19th century. The cast iron hand press was sturdier, less susceptible to damage, and easier to clean than its four-centuries-old wooden counterpart. In place of the long wooden bar that required immense force to lower the platen onto the type on wooden presses, the iron presses used a variety of levers, counterweights, and coils to lower and release the platen. Though brawn was still required, the amount of force required was less, allowing the work to go much faster.

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