It this the printing press on which the Machadodorp card was printed? by Garth Kruger

I finally got around to the printing press at Ditsong. Here are two images: one from the museum (bad lighting, sorry) and one from Jonkers and Groenewald. The two show remarkable similarities.

Printing press in the museum
Image from Jonkers and Groenwald

Judging by size, the presses are the same.

The main difference in the two images is the position of the “bed”: down on the old image and raised on the new image. This is where the printing plate is located. It tilts backward and down from the wooden support (the platen). My image is slightly from above compared with the Groenwald image. Some observations can be made:

  • Blue arrow at 6 o clock: the pedestals are the same.
  • Blue arrow at 9 o clock: it would seem the wooden platen is present in both images.
  • Blue arrow at 12 o clock: the “bed” on the old image is face down. On the image from the museum, it is elevated.
  • Yellow arrow: the metal supports below the “bed” are identical.
  • Numeral 1 at the left: the transverse bars (above the man’s knee) are the same in both images (sorry for the bad lighting).
  • The large toothed wheel at the right on the old image is absent on the museum’s printing press (behind the yellow arrow).

Big disclaimer – I know nothing about printing presses. However, I am going to put my neck out on this one. This is probably the press on which the Machadodorp card was printed.

One Comment

  1. And there is also a reference in The Transvaal Philatelist vol 21 no 3 p. 60. The sort note mentions the recovery of the Field Printing Press at Komatipoort in 1902.
    Obviously this could be the press mentioned but further research is indicated I suspect.

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