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Type Cases, Cabinets &
other Print Shop Furniture
Printer's Furniture is more
than just those blocks of spacing we use to lock up forms
in the chase of a letterpress.
Quite a bit of the wooden Industrial furniture in use in the old
print shop was as well-built as those adored antiques that
folks buy and sell with such interest these days.
The most well-known name in Print Shop Industrial
Furniture is Hamilton - also known for their Wood Type.
Thompson Cabinet Company also made type cases and galleys
- and the cabinets to store them in. There were, of
course, others - many others, in fact - often attached to
a type foundry or press maker.
American Type Founders
also sold type cabinets - made by Hamilton. Their name is
stenciled quite clearly on the Old City Stand
we are restoring for Case Western University in Ohio... I
believe that was the shipping address.... which may have
been stenciled on many Hamilton cabinets.
Below are a group of
images scanned from the 1923 ATF Catalog. The cabinets
they sold were made by Hamilton.
The Standard Wooden
Case Stand was available in a variety of
configurations - one stack, two stacks, and
combinations to hold both full sized and combined
with 2/3 size cases.
The City Case Stands shown below were more comlex
and included additional shelving and case support
on the top.
The Hamilton Wooden
Case Racks were made in 20 and 40 case
These racks had flat tops and were used for
efficient storage, whereas the "stands" including
sloping work tops.
City Case Stands
were meant to be used as composing work stations.
Two cases could be set on the top of each column
of cases. When the job was set, the case could be
returned to the rack where it was stored.
These are the most common style seen in (accurate)
historical collections. Similar styles were in use
since Gutenberg's time - and were popular until
the newer style cases - which would fit in
steel-runner "dust free" cabinets and become
the standard after 1900.
This is the one we
The School Compositor's Stand and
Desk served a dual purpose.
Not only would it hold 11 full size cases, but it
also includes and expanded working top and writing
This was seen in the many schools that offered
"shop" classes in printing - as they did with
other trades of the era.
page last updated April, 2019