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Book Press vs Copy Press

I purchased from a printer what looks to be a book press, but he told me it
is actually a copy press.  It weighs 80 lbs., is cast iron, the base is
16"x11", and the height with the screw plate fully closed is 13".  It has a
flat rectangular piece of cast iron which screws down with a circular wheel
to press the papers, and will take a document up to 3-1/2" thick.  He told
me the purpose of this press was to make copies of documents prior to the
invention of carbon paper.  A piece of onion skin type paper was slightly
dampened and placed on top of the page to be copied.  After sitting in the
press the ink wicked up through the onion skin to make a copy (as opposed to
a mirror image).

My question is thus...is this in fact a copy press?  Does anyone know where
I can research this piece of equipment?  I do, in fact, use it as a book
press and it works quite well.

Thank you for any information anyone can give me.

d. guffey

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