This small flatbed, cylinder press for braille printing, with four boxes of double-ended, braille-roman type, was likely manufactured in the late 19th century. Some of the type for the machine is marked "Allain Guillaume & Cie." The metal label on one type box reads: “Imprimerie pour aveugles / B.S.G.D.G. / systeme Ernest Vaughan / Directeur des Quinze-Vingts / Hachette & Cie. Paris.” The press is unmarked except for: “6131,” in the casting on both sides, and “CID,” stamped under the bed. The iron cylinder measures 2.26 inches in diameter. The wooden bed measures 8.25 inches by 20 inches. The overall press has a height of 10 inches, a width of 8.75 inches and a length of 20 inches.
Wooden type boxes with this press served the dual purpose of storage and chase. The lid on one side could be removed to expose the roman-letter end of the type, for composition. With that lid replaced the box could be flipped over and the lid on the other side removed, to expose the braille end for printing. Two wooden blocks fixed on the press bed held the type box firmly in place.
The donor was given this printing set in the 1940s by a religious organization. Parts of psalms are still set (in English) in the type boxes.
Donated by Ralph R. Hellerich, 1985.
Citation: Elizabeth Harris, "Printing Presses in the Graphic Arts Collection," 1996.
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