This is the flywheel of a printing press built by the Chandler and Price company in Cleveland, Ohio in 1898. When this wheel spins the inertia of the weight in the outer rim of the wheel is what drives the printing press and allows the press to print smooth and even impressions from small printing forms and to throw some weight behind the printing of large forms. This press is the go-to machine for the letterpress work produced here at the Nomadic Press.
In 1898 this press was designed to be run using either a steam powered rotation source or, more commonly, a foot treadle. For very long print runs I have a electric motor that I use to spin this wheel, but for most of the day-to-day work I use the foot treadle. Pumping my foot 6 times gets me one impression allowing me to keep the heat set low in the shop in the winter and to keep my weight down in the summer.
The Nomadic Press. Producing hand crafted (foot aided) letterpress work since 1987.