Is it rare? Is it worth restoring?

Greetings all. First time here for me. I have in my shed a Western Manufacturing (Reading) Ltd. England ‘The British’ 4C Mk2 under license from Vandercook serial 6453/4.

Can you tell me when it was made? I had a look at the site , but can’t see one here. All the bits roll and move fairly smoothly. I got it with a bucket of typeset bits as well. By the look of the site here, there is a bit more to this machine than I thought. Is it rare? is it worth restoring? Is it worth anything? I am thinking of using it…but not quite sure yet.

Any information on the unit? I am located in the snowy mountains of NSW in Australia and got the press from a company called dynamo house in Melbourne VIC who got it in 1975.

please and thank you!


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Paul Moxon, Moderator
13 years ago

The photo in my first comment shows the gripper pedal. Finn’s follow up post shows the gripper lever and push rod in place (photo 2) and the cylinder rack on the bed (photo 1). There’s still meat on the commentary bone, but lets’s move it to the new post.

Eric Holub
13 years ago

Since all the trip lever does is move the wedge (or flipper) up and down, it is the parts on the far side that are critical. Not just for impression trip, but for the grippers too. Did these models haver the same automatic gripper option that regular No. 4s do?
I hope those parts haven’t been stripped as well.

Paul Moxon, Moderator
13 years ago

The carriage had been removed at one point and reinstalled incorrectly. (We call that mis-timed.)The hand crank should point at 4 o’clock. The cylinder trip lever, which runs below the bed and absent cabinet is missing.

It may never function as a press as most of us know it, but it’s possible that it could serve a relief printmaker pulling hand inked prints.

Paul Moxon, Moderator
13 years ago

The press is missing the feed board, most of its inking assembly and its end of bed bumper blocks that keep the carriage from running of the press. Photos from other angles would help. Are there more parts in a box? I see one piece on the floor. If parts are missing they would need to be fabricated. If you decide against it. Please let folks on this site know. There are still parts let that maybe someone else could use. See photo below of a complete 4c.

The Chicago built No. 4 was in production from 1935-1960. It’s my guess that the Western 4s were made in the 50s. See this earlier post about British licensees:

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