The Golding Pearl No. 2

Not too long ago I had the good fortune of purchasing a Pearl tabletop in Vermont.  Pearl No. 2 When I first saw it in a picture seen at right, I thought I was looking at a Pearl No. 3 in tabletop form which was really exciting as they are few and far between.  The first thing that surprised me when I first saw the press in person was the feed table.  When looking at the picture I thought that the feed board was just sitting in front of the press and not attached.  It actually is attached to the press with the original brackets, but, in a position I was not expecting down below the platen.  I have not seen any other Golding tabletop with a feed board, let alone one that is mounted in this unusual position.  The second surprise was even bigger.  After my wife and I drove to Vermont and picked it up, it began to nag at me that the press seemed too small.  I went out to the parking lot where the car was parked for the night to actually measure the chase and my suspicion was confirmed as the chase measured 6 x 9 rather than 7 x 11.  It began to sink in that without knowing it initially, I had just purchased a Pearl No. 2, and to my knowledge, this was the only known example of that model.  It was pretty exciting to say the least.  I have since restored it and it is now my most favored press.   Within just a couple of months, a good friend, (Tim Dunn of Moonstruck Press) sent me a picture of a press he picked up when he purchased a letterpress shop.  It was another Pearl No. 2!   Then a couple of weeks later, another friend alerted me to a press on auction that was yet another Pearl No. 2.  Well…I was successful in that auction and drove 16 hours to retrieve what is now the third Pearl No. 2 that has surfaced.  This third one, and Tim’s second one were in need of some love.  Tim and I collaborated on our Potter restorations in the past and now here we were again both restoring the same press.    This model was never available in treadle form like the No. 1 and No. 3.  It just came as a tabletop as seen in the photos.  It apparently never became as popular as it’s smaller and larger sisters.  I don’t know why because it is a wonderful size and working press.  We figure the manufacturing date to be around 1875.  It can’t be too much earlier or later because of the design and known history of the Pearl press.  As Steve O. Saxe wrote in his “A brief history of Golding & Co.” this is most likely the second hand press that George T Dunlap purchased in 1884.  He wrote that this was his favorite and the best press he ever owned.  This is the same Dunlap of the famed publishing firm Grosset and Dunlap.  The following is a pictorial of the third presses restoration process.  The only thing left to do and not shown on the finished press as of this writing is to get the feed board brackets and feed board done.  I am having new brackets cast for both this press and Tim’s using a bracket from the first press that still had them intact.  An interesting note about the rails on this model is that they are greater than .918 high.  It requires careful measurements to determine the roller diameter which needs to be greater than the truck diameter.  If you make the rollers the same size as the trucks on this press, they would not ink the form.  The metal repairs were done by a local machinist.  He is available to do work if you have a press that is need of repair.  I recommend him highly.  Contact me at john.falstrom@att.net for his contact information.

 

 

 

 

 

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