Meccano Platen Printing Press mechanism Meccano Platen Printing Press Meccano Platen Printing Press Link
This is a model of an old style Platen letter press printing machine built with mid-nineteen fifties red and green parts.  It was described with full detailed instructions in the October 1955 Meccano Magazine. The model was based on a prize winning model from the 1952/53 International Model Building Competition by Mr. F. Davy, Auckland, New Zealand. One of the terms of entry for the competition was that entries became the copyright of Meccano Limited giving the company a vast source of material to publish. Printing machines of this type were to be found in in almost every "Jobbing" Printer's premises in most towns but now only found at craft printers or heritage village museums. The Meccano model follows the same operational process as an actual printing machine. The type is placed in the holder shown below this fits in the front of the machine behind the flat pressure plate, Printers Ink is spread on the inking plate, a 95b sprocket wheel, the rollers pick up the ink, roll over the front of the front of the machine depositing the ink on the type, paper is placed over the type and a pressure plate presses the paper against the type, the plate moves back and the printed impression is then removed. The machine is capable of printing small items such as business cards or circulars, just right for advertising your Meccano Club's exhibition. The Meccano Magazine text suggests rubber type from a toy printing set could be used "John Bull” printing sets were very popular in the 1950’s but for better results metal type should be used. This it was suggested could be bought quite cheaply from a  local printer. I have used metal type that was from a corporate identity project in my Art School days in the 1960's! I don't think "Medway College of Art" would have missed it even at the time! Type shown on the right. I followed the instructions and parts used except for the use of some recent plastic parts. The model is driven by a 1950's Meccano E20R electric motor as shown in the original instructions, I am running it at around 10 volts DC to give a steady speed, it ran alarmingly fast at 20v AC! In 1957 the printing machine was made available as a sales aid for Meccano dealers to purchase it came mounted on an illuminated stand with a wooden base.
Metal printing type October 1955 instructions shown in the Meccano Magazine YouTube link
A video of the model in operation is available on YouTube. Click on the logo.
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Web Page created October 19 2022 Revised 20/10/2022