OK jobber, Kelsey

OK jobber, Kelsey

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
Description (Brief)
This platen jobber, with a clamshell mechanism, was made by W. A. Kelsey, about 1891. Its chase measures 9 inches by 13 inches.
William Kelsey made his fame and fortune with small presses for amateurs and children, but for a few years he tried making platen jobbers too, and even a small flatbed cylinder press. His short-lived OK Jobber, introduced in 1887, sold for only $100. The press, criticized as being flimsy and lacking power, was not a great success. But like many lightweight clamshell jobbers of the time, it filled a need and did so inexpensively.
This model was presented in 1891, with a modified frame and a wraparound feed table. The small flywheel (25 inches in diameter) is tied directly to the treadle by a rod. Despite its light frame, the press is heavy in operation.
Purchased in 1985.
Citation: Elizabeth Harris, "Printing Presses in the Graphic Arts Collection," 1996.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Press, Printing
printing press
Other Terms
Press, Printing; Platen Jobber
Date made
circa 1891
date made
ca 1891
Kelsey, William
Kelsey, William
Kelsey, William
place made
United States: Connecticut, Meriden
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
overall: 9 in x 13 in; 22.86 cm x 33.02 cm
overall: 47 in x 35 3/4 in x 33 1/2 in; 119.38 cm x 90.805 cm x 85.09 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Work and Industry: Graphic Arts
Printing Presses in the Graphic Arts Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

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.


Add a comment about this object