If you’ve been to our office, you know we’ve collected enough antique ink bottles and typewriters to start our own museum. Since most of our work is done remotely these days we’ve decided to showcase some of our favorite finds here on the website, starting with our most recent acquisition, the Multigraph No. 60 printing press.
This machine doesn’t appear to be fully functional but we’re searching for an operator’s manual to see if we can restore it to working condition. Functional or not, the Multigraph is an interesting machine with great style, and the typeset ad for local Yakima grocery store Glesener’s Market is a nice bonus.
The Multigraph machine was first introduced in 1895 by the American Multigraph Company, which was founded by Harry C. Gammeter. The machine was initially designed as a way to produce business forms, but it quickly became popular for other types of printing as well.
One of the key features of the Multigraph machine was its ability to print multiple copies of a document at once. This was achieved through the use of individually set type or printing plates, which are mounted on a rotating drum. As the drum rotates, ink is applied to the plates and pressed against the paper, producing multiple copies of the document in a single pass.
The Multigraph machine was also highly versatile and could be used to print a wide range of materials, including business forms, letterheads, envelopes, pamphlets, and more. This made it a popular choice for businesses and organizations of all sizes, as it allowed them to produce high-quality printed material quickly and affordably.
Over time, the Multigraph machine underwent a number of improvements and enhancements, including the introduction of new ink colors, improved registration systems, and more. These advancements helped to make the machine even more efficient and effective, and helped to solidify its place as one of the most important printing technologies of the early 20th century.
However, by the mid-20th century, new printing technologies like offset printing, Xerox machines and digital printing began to emerge and would eventually replace the Multigraph and other similar machines.
Today, the Multigraph is considered a relic of a bygone era in printing technology. However, its impact on the printing industry cannot be overstated. It helped to revolutionize the way that printed material was produced, and paved the way for many of the technologies that we take for granted today.
Thanks to Will Hollingberry for contributing this unique printing machine to our collection.
“Study the past if you would define the future.” - Confucius
Posted May 09, 2023