Ramage screw press

Description (Brief):

This free-standing wooden screw press was made by Adam Ramage of Philadelphia in about 1820. It is incomplete. The press has a height of 75 inches, a width at cheeks of 32 inches, and a length of 68 inches. The press platen measures 13.75 inches by 19.75 inches.

Description (Brief)

The press is said to have been used for printing Confederate

Description (Brief)

money in Columbia, South Carolina, during the Civil War.

Description (Brief)

Though it has no maker’s identification, it is typical of the

Description (Brief)

mid-sized “screw presses” that Ramage built after 1820. Before 1820 he had built full-sized common presses, and a few years later, in the 1820s he made smaller presses that he called foolscap presses. The Ramage screw press was simpler and shorter than the traditional common press, and had no hose. It was a two-pull press with an iron bed and platen, and two coil springs for the return of the platen. This press has been modified, however, and it is possible that only the ironwork is entirely original. The cheeks have been shortened, or perhaps replaced. There are extra-long and massive wooden rails, and there is no rounce apparatus for moving the type under the platen.

Description (Brief)

The press was purchased by the typefounders Barnhart Brothers

Description (Brief)

& Spindler from G. W. Charlotta & Son of Elkin, North Carolona,

Description (Brief)

about 1890, and exhibited in the World’s Fair in 1893.

Description (Brief)

This press arrived at the Smithsonian with broken coil springs, which have been replaced; the older springs are preserved.

Description (Brief)

Donated by Barnhart Brothers & Spindler in 1899.

Description (Brief)

Citation “Notes about the World’s Fair,” in Inland Printer, August 1893 p. 403; Elizabeth Harris, "Printing Presses in the Graphic Arts Collection," 1996.

Date Made: circa 1820Date Made: ca 1820

Maker: Ramage, Adam

Place Made: United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

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

Exhibition: Director's Hallway

Exhibition Location: National Museum of American History

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: GA.09282Catalog Number: 09282Accession Number: 35949

Object Name: Press, Printing

Physical Description: iron (overall material)wood (overall material)wood (overall material)Measurements: overall: 71 1/2 in x 32 in x 68 in; 181.61 cm x 81.28 cm x 172.72 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a6-6389-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_826251

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.