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Harris E1 Card Press - from the Howard Iron Works Collection


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Harris Automatic Press Co. Model E1 Press - Niles, OH

Age: 1899, Serial No. 259, Size: 11 5/8" x 11 5/8"

Brothers Alfred and Charles Harris, jewelry store owners from Niles, Ohio, started tinkering with machines to help out a neighbour in late 1890s. Reasonably successful at it, they began to get serious about building a whole brand new press after a visit to the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. In late 1895, the Harris Brothers incorporated Harris Automatic Press Company, and by the spring 1896, the first Harris automatic press was born.

The little press, named E1 Card Press, with a sheet size of nearly 12” x 12”, could automatically feed envelopes, tags and cards, at 15,000 per hour. The press does not have one ball bearing or a vacuum pump. All it needs is a 1/2 HP drive motor. There are only five taper pins – everything else is keyed with set screws. The “Wobble Gear” for oscillation of the inker drum started with this E1 as did patented “Feed-Rolls” for guaranteed front/back register. The press could be tripped off impression if it missed a sheet – unheard of then, taken for granted today.

To the dismay of the Brothers, the response and acceptance from printers and users were strangely unexpected. Because the Harris press was so revolutionary and superior than other presses of the day, in all technical aspects including the phenomenal speed it was capable of compared to others at 1,500 sheets/hour, they were often met with disbelief from the printers, and were even laughed off the plant. Harris was forced to offer a choice of automatic or manual feeder with E1 as an option.

This was the genesis of what would become a global corporation that it is today. Read the full story HERE

Our Harris E1 was manufactured in 1898, and comes with automatic feeder and delivery. The E1 restoration project took about eight months to complete, in addtition to the extensive research and visit to the Smithsonian Institute archives in Washington, DC. For the HIW Restoration team, it was an honour to have been able to breath life back into this amazing machine - here's a salute to the Harris Brothers.


Harris Automatic Press Co. Model E1 Press - Niles, OH

Age:

Serial No.:

Size:

Restored:

1899

259

11 5/8" x 11 5/8"

2019


 
 

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