Equipment in use at the Excelsior Press Museum
        Print Shop


10/21/2020 10/27/20 12/2/20

Houston Print Museum ~ Prickly Pear Press

Kelsey King Jobber
The Very Rare
Kelsey King Jobber

Manufactured in Meriden, CT

The OLD Kelsey
Kelsey didn't make all of their own presses. The Excelsiors, yes. But they also dabbled in other presses for a while. Among those are the Kelsey Star and the Kelsey King Jobber. Heck, they even sold a newspaper press at one time. We can't say for certain that Kelsey actually made these presses in their Meriden, CT plant, but they certainly did sell them.

According to Elizabeth Harris' "Personal Impressions", based upon notes of Glover Snow,  Kelsey offered the King in 1911 - ten years after they introduced the "Star" press (likely also a Prouty design) in 1901.

We don't have a lot of history about either of these models, but we do have a Star and will soon have a King Jobber as well. Below are photos of the press we recently purchased.
Kelsey King Jobber
The King Jobber is very rare. We are only aware of three throughout the entire letterpress community. There may be more. When we find them, we will update this page.

Click on any image for more detail

Kelsey King Jobber photos
Click on any image for more detail

Kelsey King Jobber

Excelsior King Jobber

1939 Kelsey Excelsior Side View

Kelsey King Jobber

Kelsey King Jobber Kelsey King Jobber

And here it is - some of the answers to our questions.

Thanks to Harold Sterne who included the image below in his classic reference work "Catalogue of 19th Century Printing Presses"
published in 1978

The Kelsey King Jobber was designed by Prouty and sold by Kelsey
(possibly others as well).

The chase size is 9 x 12 1/2" (inner dimenions)
our best guess is that this advert was "printed on a King" sometime around 1911.
When new, it sold for $300.

There is more to learn - about the King Jobber, about Mr. Prouty - who may also have designed the Kelsey Star press*. As we learn more, we will update this page.

Kelsey King Jobber

The Houston Print Museum has one of these...

click on any photo for a close-up view

Kelsey King Jobber Kelsey King Jobber Kelsey King Jobber
Side View showing Kelsey imprint
Operator's position
Impression throw-off lever detail do Lauren and Mark at  Prickly Pear Paper in Arizona

Kelsey King Jobber Click photo to view video and see this press in action.

As far as we know right now, this is the only one currently in use. 
Kelsey King JobberKelsey King Jobber
Kelsey King Jobber in Use at Prickly Pear Paper in Arizona

And ... in Florida a collector/dealer has one in his warehouse...
(details coming soon)