Large framed photograph advertising the Goss High Speed Straightline Sextuple Press, claimed in the custom-printed mat to be “The Fastest Newspaper Press in the World.” The photograph shows the huge elaborate press highlighting the complexity and sophistication of the machinery as evidence of its advanced technology. The press is labeled in white lettering “Goss ‘High Speed Straightline’ Patented,” “No. 753,” and in several places with the name of the company. The photograph is set in its original mat with printed advertising slogans, all in its original stained oak frame.
The press was manufactured by the Goss Printing Press Company, which had its headquarters in Chicago and offices in New York and London. An advertisement in a 1910 trade publication refers to it as “The New Goss High Speed Sextuple Press No. 160” with the exact same photograph (showing the same markings on the press, including the “No. 753” serial number on the lower left face of the base). A straight line press is one in which the sheets can be carried in a straight course from the roll of paper to the printing cylinders to the folding and delivery mechanism at the other end. The sextuple press was intended for large press runs and had a number of patented features designed for efficient operation. The company was still running ads for it in 1922.
Goss Printing Press Company was chartered in 1885 by brothers Samuel and Frederick Goss and their backer Jacob Walser. Now known as Goss International, the company is headquartered in Durham, New Hampshire, where it continues to supply printing presses to the international publishing industry, including leading American newspapers. The company had a rocky start, including a fire that destroyed their first manufacturing site. The turning point was its shrewd decision to acquire the rights to a new invention, the straight-line press, which had been designed and patented by Joseph L. Firm of Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1889. Firm’s idea was greeted with widespread skepticism by the printing industry, but the Goss brothers saw its potential, purchased the patent from him and agreed to pay him a ten percent royalty on all future presses based on his design. The first Straightline press debuted in 1892 and catapulted Goss into the realm of major printing press manufacturers. By 1897 Goss was selling 125 variations in North America and around the world, and they continued to be best sellers during the first quarter of the 20th century, when the offered photographic advertisement was probably produced.
Inscription on mat: “Goss ‘High Speed Straightline’ Sextuple Press, Patented, The Fastest Newspaper Press in the World. Patented and manufactured by The Goss Printing Press Co. Chicago, Ill., U.S.A.”
Condition: Photograph, mat, and frame generally very good with the usual light overall toning and wear.
“Goss Holdings, Inc.” Reference for Business. http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/history2/9/Goss-Holdings-Inc.html (31 August 2015).
Kjaer, Swen. Productivity of Labor in Newspaper Printing. Issue 475 of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1929. Online at Google Books: https://books.google.com/books?id=FSU6AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA144 (31 August 2015).
The American Pressman. Vol. 20, No. 6. May 1910. Online at Google Books: http://books.google.com/books?id=H-lFAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA285 (31 August 2015).