Summary

This is a letterpress printing press used for printing envelopes, manufactured by the Harris Automatic Press Company, the date of manufacture is unknown.

Letterpress is a term used to define the process of printing from a raised surface, be it type or block. The term takes it origins from the act of pressing a letter onto another substance, usually paper.

The machine holds a stereo plate and had been specifically built for stereo printing.
Stereotyping is a process in which a whole page of type is cast in a single mold so that a printing plate can be made from it. Until the invention of the stereotype, printing type had to be reset if a second printing was to be made.

Operation
The machine has a small 'knock-up' table at the rear. A number of blank envelopes, say 200, was placed in the feed tray behind the cylinder. A mechanism pushed an envelope between the cylinders and it fed out onto the back circular table.

This press has a cylinder designed to hold a curved stereo plate. It is a rare surviving piece of printing machinery in that it could not be used with type. A rubber stereo, similar to a rubber stamp, is attached to the machine and carries the following:-
If not claimed within 7 days return to
Maternal and Child Welfare Branch
Department of Health
272-282 Queen Street
Melbourne, 3000

Significance

This press has a cylinder designed to hold a curved stereo plate. It is a rare surviving piece of printing machinery in that it could not be used with type.

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