Lowe Press No. 2 press

Samuel W. Lowe of Philadelphia invented the Lowe printing press, an unusual conical cylinder press patented in 1856. Like Adams's Cottage printing press, it did not include a frisket and included an automatic tympan. The rights for the press were sold in 1858 to Joseph Watson, who marketed both presses in Boston and Philadelphia.
The Lowe printing press does not appear to have been as heavily advertised as the Adams, although the company notes that we have sold many presses … to druggists … in this country and in other lands. Every boy and business man seems to be having one.
As for portability, the Lowe was more than a third lighter than the Adams, ranging from between 12 and 120 pounds as compared to Adams's press at between 100 and 400 pounds. The Lowe used a simpler frame and relatively thin castings.
Currently not on view
Object Name
press, printing
Object Type
date made
ca 1860
patent date
Lowe, Samuel W.
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
overall: 9 3/4 in x 14 1/2 in x 26 in; 24.765 cm x 36.83 cm x 66.04 cm
place made
United States: Massachusetts, Boston
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Civil War
Industry & Manufacturing
Cultures & Communities
Civil War Field Printing
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Graphic Arts
Civil War Field Printing
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Joseph H. Hennage
Additional Media

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