The Mackenzie Printery & Newspaper Museum located in Queenston, Ontario, Canada, is the recipient of a donated Heidelberg “T” platen press from Howard Graphic Equipment Ltd. Commenting on the donation Nick Howard recalls a time not so long ago when the 10” x 15” Windmill was the mainstay of every print shop - large or small. This particular platen was restored by Howard and will take its place among other unique pieces of machinery in the Museum.
The Heidelberg platen is fondly remembered by thousands of shop owners because of its simplicity and flexibility. One could easily print business cards, letterheads, envelopes as well as number, perf and score on this machine. Odd shaped pieces as well as die-cutting could be handled with only minor adjustments. The founder of Howard Graphic Equipment Ltd., Mr. H.W. Howard, was a pressman himself and bought, refurbished and sold many a platen to printers - some of which have grown and purchased other larger machinery, too. In the early days, H.W. and his son Nick, restored and rebuilt many of these machines in various versions, including the later built “GT” larger format platens.
In dedicating the famous Heidelberg platen, Nick Howard along with his wife and partner, Liana, has honoured his father’s memory and spirit which gave rise to the company we have today. Please visit the museum to re-live a lasting legacy of Print - www.mackenzieprintery.org
Interesting facts about The Heidelberg Platen T "Tiegel"
- The first platen designed in Köln (Cologne) by a German printer named Karl Gilke - 1912
- Gilke sells the patent rights to Heidelberg - 1912
- Schnellpresse, as Heidelberg was called, produced the first windmill platen in 1914
- The Heidelberger Druckautomat, as it was later referred, became the first print machine to be assembled on a movable assembly line - 1926
- In order to distinguish itself from Czechoslovakian copies, Schnellpresse started placing “ORIGINAL HEIDELBERG” crests on its machines - 1950
- H.W. Howard, along with many salesmen involved with the platen, starts taking it on the road for demonstrations all over the province of Quebec, Canada - circa 1955
- Schnellpresse changes its name to HEIDELBERGER DRUCKMASCHINEN AG - 1967
- The last of the famous Heidelberg platens left the Weisloch factory - over 165,000 were made - 1985
- The Howard donated platen or Tiegel, as it was called in German, was built in 1974