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S&G platen press

Started by Autospacer, April 30, 2018, 09:59:02 AM

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Hi, I'm hoping someone out there has some information on platen presses that were made by Schelter & Giesecke, Leipzig. Pictures would be appreciated. From what I have read on the web, S&G were predominantly foundry type makers and later branched out into the machinery side of the industry. I'm particularly interested because Rob Clarkson from NZ discovered an old S&G press in a metal collection dump in Eltham NZ this year. He brought it back to Taranaki Pioneer Village where a number of printing enthusiasts have contributed to its restoration. John Nicholson made a new drive cog for the inking drum, whilst Ken Foster got the many broken pieces of casting welded. Rob says it turns over at the moment and he is still working on it. It's quite an unusual machine in that it is a hand-fed platen but doesn't have a feed-pile table nor a printed pile table incorporated in the machine such as you might see on a C&P press. I've seen an advertising picture on the nett and it shows a tall pedestal table with the unprinted stock placed at the right of the operator, and another to their left for the printed sheet. The machine has no ability to be treadled and looks like it was most likely driven off a lay shaft with a throw-over lever to engage the drive. The impression looks like a lever and plunger arrangement at the front centre of the machine. None of the guys in our group have seen another in NZ but I'm picking they may be more plentiful in Eastern Germany? Anyone have anything further to add? Thanks.

Dave Hughes

Sounds like an unusual press Autospacer - any chance of you posting a pic of your example?
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John Cornelisse

Whenever you would like to know anything about Leipzig manufactorers... You might contact the Leipzig printing-museum:


by the way, here they have a series of Typograph-casters all in good order and working !

good luck with it.


The Schelter & Giesecke platens were the parallel-impression Phoenix line, and like their foundry type, marked with an anchor. In 1904, there were five sizes: the I had two form rollers; the II had three; III, IV and V had four. I-III could be treadle-driven, IV-V needed power drive such as steam fixtures, and they also sold a pedestal hand-crank for chain-drive of models II-III.
By the inter-war period there were many more Phoenix variations from small jobbers to very large heavy duty machines, also cylinder presses (I've seen a S&G catalog showing type and presses from this period). The line was more varied than their Dresden competitors, Rockstroh Werke and their Victoria line (also the UK spin-off Pershke), but Victoria survived the war and was absorbed into the postwar Poligraf conglomerate; according to MyFonts, S&G's typefoundry was nationalized postwar as Typoart, but no mention of the press branch. Victorias seem to be common in comparison to Phoenix presses.
Theses platens were called "Universal" platens by their inventor, Rev. Gally, and through all the imitations and improvements, use of separate pedestal feed-tables was common. Smaller sizes often had tables on arms mounted to the side of the press; it was optional on mid-size presses, as my own 15x20 Victoria has one table attached on the right but nothing for the left. That's as big as a Victoria gets, but the Phoenix line got bigger.


We have a Phoenix 4 at which I collected from LIEPZIG early last year.

It is a monster! Just completing its recommissioning. Ink train is something to behold, with 4 forme rollers. Once up and running we will post a video.


John Cornelisse

Sorry, I did try this website, but I was not able to gather much info out of it... Are you still busy with that ?


Hi, thanks to all who have replied. When you have nothing more than a stamp on a casting to start with, even a sentence, a paragraph here and there from contributors is gold. I've got several photos and will try to download them. I tried once but the files were too big. Here goes . . .

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