This is a Stanhope Press, one of the earliest printing presses.
The Stanhope Press was invented by Charles, 3rd Earl of Stanhope and made for him by Robert Walker. This press had been in use for over sixty years at a small printing works in the Rossendale Valley, Lancashire before it was bought by the Museum in 1966.
The Stanhope press was the first iron press produced for sale. Although the printing method was the same as earlier wooden presses the rigidity of the iron frame, compound level system and large platen allowed it to print all the type pages at one impression.