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Vintage Printing Press Superior Star Smeco 1950s Toy Original Box Great Graphics

Wonderful vintage toy printing press from the 1950s in its original box, with ink and rubber stamps. Manufactured by the Smeco Company in Chicago, Illinois in 1953. Model is "Star No. 8403".

Outer box measures approximately 14.75 inches long x 6 inches high x 8.5 inches deep. Great color and graphics, but the box does have some wear and tear(s). Original Gimbels price sticker is on the side of box.

Includes metal printing press, instruction pamphlet, a printer's journal, and an (original) box of supplies. The box of supplies is in much better condition than the outer box, and includes a bottle of ink, tweezers, metal type trays, a brush, small rubber alphabet stamps in a holder, and various flat rubber stamp images (see photo #4).

I have not tested this product and am unsure if it works. Some of the rubber stamps have been used.

The Superior Marking Company (SMECo), of Chicago was known for manufacturing rubber stamps and other commercial marking equipment, but they also produced a number of toy rubber stamp kits, with the printing presses at the higher end of the toy line. SMECo produced several sizes of presses, but all worked on pretty much the same mechanical process. The large barrel in the center has rows of metal clips, into which custom rubber ‘cuts’ are inserted. the barrel is about seven inches around, setting the maximum length of the printed page. A slip of paper about three inches wide is inserted into the front of the press, and the crank is turned. As the barrel rolls, it turns an ‘inker’ roller to place a layer of ink on the raised letters, and when it reaches the lowest point it engages a rotating platen underneath that forces the paper against the raised letters, producing text. Once the letters are set, a little press like this could operate constantly until it ran out of ink or wore down the raised rubber surfaces.

Please view all photos carefully as they are part of this item's description.

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Please note that as a vintage item, my pieces may not be in perfect condition, since that is generally the nature (and charm) of vintage. I will describe the item to the best of my ability, but I am not an expert in any vintage category. All items sold in as-is condition. Please look at photos carefully and email me with any questions before purchasing to avoid any misunderstandings. My home is smoke-free, and all items are kept in a pet-free storage area.

If I have overestimated your shipping costs I will reimburse your account. Shipping costs include bubble wrap, boxes, postage, delivery confirmation, and sometimes insurance.

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Vintage Printing Press Superior Star Smeco 1950s Toy Original Box Great Graphics


  • Vintage item from the 1950s
  • Materials: metal, cardboard, rubber, ink
  • Only ships within United States.
  • Feedback: 375 reviews
  • Favorited by: 8 people