our letterpress platen machine built in 1872 is now back in full working order delivering our greeting cards and prints on a daily basis. we named her florrie as she is very much part of our family and is located in our home studio. florrie / florence was a name in vogue back in 1872 and a name we always loved. florrie is an arab crown folio platen letterpress developed and patented by josiah wade of halifax, england.
the patent of 1872 for the letterpress indicates that the machine had ten novel features beyond what was the current state of the art at that time. these included leather roller bearers to secure better inking and special guides for the paper on the platen.
the arab is a clamshell platen, and works by bringing together both the forme of type and the platen holding the paper. the back platen moves on an axis at the foot of the machine.
florrie was found in quite a bad condition and so the journey began to restore it to her former glory. this restoration, through the careful work of an experienced engineer, took over five months to complete.
a few hundred miles later, florrie arrived home in donegal. the beauty and grace of her movement combined with the sound of the platen turning is amazing to work with and a privilege every day.
we look forward to many happy days ahead with precision printing and florrie playing a central role in all that we produce.
please see below for some images taken throughout the restoration process.