DCSIMG

The Innovative Stickney Press

This working model of a Stickney printing press was a highlight of the Post Office’s 1939 “philatelic truck” exhibition. Visitors entered the truck to see stamp-related exhibits. Some received preprinted souvenirs dispensed by this model, which is built to one-eighth scale.

Working model, Stickney printing press. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Department of the Treasury.
Working model, Stickney printing press. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Department of the Treasury.
Working model, Stickney printing press. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Department of the Treasury.

The first Stickney press, developed by mechanical expert Benjamin Stickney, went into regular service at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in 1914. Unlike older flat-plate presses, the design used curved, engraved plates mounted on cylinders; paper was fed through in a continuous roll. The press was so successful that it became the workhorse of U.S. stamp production, with 29 Stickney presses in service by 1931. The Bureau retired its last Stickney press in 1962.