equipment in use at the Excelsior Press

Curtis - Mitchell Columbian No. 2 Hacker/Potter No. 1 Proof Press

Bed size: 12x25 inches
patented circa 1910

(click any photo for larger image)

The Potter Proof Press would be used to "pull proofs" of type forms that had been set up for printing on another press. However, these days, this little "flatbed cylinder" has found another purpose in life - to print larger sheets and posters.

Potter No.1 Proof Press Advert.Since it has a set of paper grippers, it can hold sheets firmly in place to maintain "register" and therefore can be used for production printing - expecially of larger sheets and forms - things like signs and posters - or even a multiple-page set up of text and images for short runs of books.

The one at H-J is the smallest model made - the 12x25" No. 1 size. It was made between 1914 and 1930 and will soon be fully operational in the museum shop in 2019 -  nearly 90 years later...

More about Potter Proof Presses from

We will be adding our press to the Potter Press Census - once we find "The serial number - located on the end of the rail left of the hand crank" 

<-- from 1923 ATF Catalog

                          Proof Press - left view Potter Proof Press - end view
Operator Side
Bed End
Potter Proof Press - left view Potter Proof Press -Gripper Mechanism
Back View
Gripper Mechanism

Problems we have encountered with this press
  1. The bed came off the end, so we need to re-set the bed under the cylinder at just the right spot so that the grippers willl open and close at the right moment as the bed travels beneath the cylinder.
  2. In addition, the gripper trip and spring do not seem to be functioning as they should. We need to develop more insight into how that works as well.

Potter Proof Press -GripperTrip
                          Mechanism Potter Proof Press -GripperTrip Mechanism
This is where the problem is - the Gripper Trip Mechanism.
This set of linkages opens and closes the paper grippers at just the right moment as the bed slides under the impression cylinder - but it is not working properly right now.
This is the same mechanism on John Falstrom's Potter

Potter Proof Press -GripperTrip Mechanism
These are two other gripper trip mechanisms made by John Falstrom when he restored his Potter in 2012.

John Falstrom's restoration of a Potter

page last updated May, 2019