Metal Type: Home | Library | Forum | Free Ads | Store

Unusual Cylinder Press

Started by Dave Hughes, February 16, 2014, 07:20:58 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Printle: A Printing Word Game from Metal Type

Dave Hughes

This press, recently pictured on Flickr, seems to have type slotted into the cylinder.

Scant information posted on Flickr, just where the machine is located:

QuoteShakespeare Press Museum located on the California Polytechnic State University of San Luis Obispo campus in Bldg. 26 Rm. 116

I am confident that someone on here will have seen one, operated one, mended one, or even got the t-shirt!

Printle: Word Puzzle for Printers Play Now

Keep in touch with Metal Type Get our newsletters


The Multigraph used this design, not sure if it was ever copied. The company later became Addressograph-Multilith.
Dave Robison is the most serious enthusiast of the Multigraph (he is also known online as the Ink-in Tubes Guy).

Eric Brown

I worked for short time in a company in Godalming running Monotype casters and Supercasters, these had special mould conversions which cast the type about 5mm high in an 'H' section which then came off the machine in slides (single letters at a time by pricking the spool paper) The type was then sold to specialist label printers who assembled the 'type' onto the grooved slides on the press in the picture. We used to cast type from 6pt to 48 pt in size from single mats
. One of the companies who where competitors were called Tickopress. There were very few suppliers of this type which was sold to companies all over the country. The other name which may describe this was 'Accuratype'

Dave Hughes

Thanks for the info, Eric. I knew someone would know about them!
Printle: Word Puzzle for Printers Play Now

Keep in touch with Metal Type Get our newsletters


The following URL will take you to Jenny Addison's web page of old world equipment including some shots of Multigraph machines.

George Finn (Mechanic)
Gold Coast

Roy Bowker

I worked on one of these Unusual Cylinder Presses whilst doing Nation Service in the R.A.O.C. We also used to use it for printing labels and tickets for stores department. It had a strange kind of "stick" that had 2 pointed prongs at one end. These prongs fitted into the end of the groves on the right hand side (I think it was the right side). Never thought i would see a picture of that piece of equipment again. Thanks for posting.

Peter Stanners

I visited the print section of the Cambridge Museum of Technology last Sunday and noticed they had a Multigraph (not working). But the grooves for slotting in the type were vertical, whereas the pics on here were showing the grooves to be horizontal. One of my photos shows of a piece of type (8pt I think), small and fiddly!

Nick Smith

The difference in the type cylinders is just to permit printing in landscape format as well as portrait. The machines were intended for printing on the old foolscap size of paper.
Setting the tiny pieces of type must have been incredibly fiddly, which is why some makers produced type magazines from which single types could be loaded into a sort of composing stick. When the line was complete it could be slid straight into the grooves on the half-cylinders.

Nick Smith

A 1917 UK book refers to this type of machine as the Gammeter Multigraph - does anyone know the origin or meaning of Gammeter?
Another machine of the same kind was the Roneotype, which had a flexible cylinder.

John B Easson

I used one of these Multigraphs briefly whist a student at St.Andrews in the 60s. They had it in their admin to print proofs of titles of  items with text done on Varitypers, The plates were then made on a Xerox platemaker for small-offset which allowed one to intervene before the toner image was fused, and remove shadows on the edge of paste-ups, etc.
I currently have two Tickopresses intended for producing price tags etc for shops, plus some type. The Larger size letters are electrotypes, since they need to be curved. The smaller sizes get away with flat-faced type.
I'll take some pictures to post later.

John B Easson

Pictures of small Tickopress, some Tickopress type and sundries, and two larger pieces of type (c.48pt) showing the curved face.

Quick Reply

Please leave this box empty:
Type the letters shown in the picture
Listen to the letters / Request another image

Type the letters shown in the picture:

Shortcuts: ALT+S post or ALT+P preview

Printers' Tales - Over 30 stories from the pre-digital age. Buy now on Amazon/Apple Books

☛ Don't miss our illustrated newsletters. Click here to see examples and subscribe. ☚