Frank talks about very old printing presses, specifically, the evolution of the two-person hand presses into the single-user platen presses named for George Phineas Gordon of Salem, N.H. The advantage of the platen press was that it used a foot pedal, and thus could be operated by one person, unlike the older hand presses which required two operators. The platen presses were the workhorses of the 1800s and early 1900s, and many are still in use.
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