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Copy Press

Also called a Book Press

A copy press was originally used as a primitive copy machine. More recently these old presses are being used for bookbinding, pressing water out of handmade paper, and drying flowers. The original patient for making copies with this press was held by James Watt in London in 1780.

Making a Copy

Place a just written letter between slightly moist sheets of extremely thin semi-transparent paper. Once pressed, the moist paper should pick up some of the ink from the original document. The result is a reversed copy that with any luck can be read from the back. This process was common from 1850's to 1900's.

Making a Block Print

Carve a reversed image in a block material. Cover the block with ink and place a paper on top of the block. Press it down and carefully peel back the paper.

Copy Press Circa 1880


See Also

Print Making
Briar Press Museum 
Very rich information on letter presses and other old printing equiptment.