Washington press, R. Hoe & Co.

Description (Brief):

This Washington press, No. 5465, was made by R. Hoe & Co. of New York in about 1865. The frisket is missing. The press has a height of 63 inches and a length of 50 inches. Its platen is 21 by 16 inches.

Description (Brief)

The Washington press became, by far, the most popular iron hand press in America, a position it held from the 1820s until the end of the hand press era, in the middle of the century. The press was invented by Samuel Rust, a New York printer, during the 1820s. Rust’s patent of 1821 (now lost) probably covered the toggle mechanism, a figure-4 arrangement which provided greater leverage than the simple elbow toggle of the Wells or the Smith presses. Rust’s second patent of 1829 covered a new frame, which included cast iron hollow columns enclosing wrought-iron rods—the true tension members.

Description (Brief)

The earliest Washington presses, which had acorn frames, were

Description (Brief)

manufactured by Rust and his partner Turney. Later, presses with the patent vertical frames were made by Rust alone. In about 1834 Rust’s rival, R. Hoe & Co., succeeded by a ruse in getting Rust to sell out to John Colby, a Hoe employee. Colby passed the business—with patent rights—back to the Hoe Company, who thereafter manufactured the press alongside their own Smith press. At the expiration of the patents, other American companies began producing their own versions of the Washington. This press was used in the Government Printing Office in Washington until its transfer in 1938.

Description (Brief)

Transferred from the Government Printing Office, 1938.

Description (Brief)

Citation: Elizabeth Harris, "Printing Presses in the Graphic Arts Collection," 1996.

Date Made: about 1865

Maker: R. Hoe & Company

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: New York

See more items in: Work and Industry: Graphic Arts, Communications, Printing Presses in the Graphic Arts Collection


Exhibition Location:

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: GA.20007Catalog Number: 20007Accession Number: 148539

Object Name: Press, printingpress, printing

Physical Description: metal (overall material)Measurements: overall: 63 in x 50 in; 160.02 cm x 127 cmplaten: 21 in x 16 in; 53.34 cm x 40.64 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a1-31f7-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_335043

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