Patent Model of a Plate Printing Press

Description (Brief)
This patent model demonstrates an invention for a plate printing press which was granted patent number 193097. The press bed was pulled by a continuous chain along a four-sided track, with stations for the operations of inking, wiping, supplying paper, and printing. This patent improved upon Milligan's patent of 1876 (Patent 180490). In 1878 Milligan steam presses were installed in the Bureau of Engraving and Printing for printing tobacco stamps and the green backs of some bank notes, replacing hand presses. In 1889, as a result of protest from the Knights of Labor on behalf of copperplate printers, 19 steam presses were taken from the Bureau and replaced with 67 hand presses. After 1900, steam presses based on Milligan's pattern were gradually reintroduced to the Bureau. They were considered the Bureau's workhorses in the 20th century.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1877
patent date
Milligan, James
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
wood (overall material)
overall: 30.5 cm x 36 cm x 29 cm; 12 in x 14 3/16 in x 11 7/16 in
ID Number
patent number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Graphic Arts
Industry & Manufacturing
Patent Models
Patent Models, Graphic Arts
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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