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Philadelphia press

Philadelphia press

Usage conditions apply
Description (Brief)
This Philadelphia press was made by Frederick Bronstrup of Philadelphia after 1850. The top finial is missing. The press has a height of 72 inches a width, at cheeks, of 33 inches and a length of 74.5 inches; its platen measures 22.5 inches by 19 inches.
The Philadelphia press was designed and originally built by Adam Ramage of Philadelphia and, like Ramage’s better-known wooden presses, it was sternly utilitarian in looks. The A-shaped frame was made of a 1 inch by 3 inch wrought-iron band. The earliest Philadelphia presses had a simple elbow toggle lever, similar to that of the Wells press. After 1842 Ramage changed the toggles to a design closer to those of the Washington press. This was one of a group of presses deriving from Ramage’s patent of 1834, and sharing the A-frame.
After Ramage’s death in 1850, his business was taken over by
Frederick Bronstrup, a German blacksmith, who made this heftier
form of the Philadelphia press. Bronstrup sold the business in
Donated by Wallace J. Tomasini for the University of Iowa, 1984.
Citation: Elizabeth Harris, "Printing Presses in the Graphic Arts Collection," 1996.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Press, printing
Date made
after 1850
Ramage, Adam
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Physical Description
iron (overall material)
wood (overall material)
overall: 72 in x 33 in x 74 1/2 in; 182.88 cm x 83.82 cm x 189.23 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Work and Industry: Graphic Arts
Printing Presses in the Graphic Arts Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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