I have had this cabinet for some time and many people who have seen it are as clueless as I am about it's use. It has 66 slots each approximately 7 1/2" tall by 1" wide. Each slot has a numeric marker starting at 4, 4 1/2, 5, 5 1/2 etc. to 12 1/2 then by whole numbers to 60. Each slot is progressively deeper starting at approx. 5/8" to 9 5/8". The cabinet appears to have been used horizontally as there are wear patterns where items have been slid across that surface. On the right vertical side is a gauge to measure the items presumably to find which slot it goes into. I believe it may have been in a school as on the back side are numerous signatures and dates. Many are also signed THS which I assume was Tacoma High School because of the partial sticker which refers to Tacoma. The dates are all in the 1910-1920 era.
Looks like it is for organizing your Tacomas.
It is called a riglet cabinet used in the printing industry to store spacing materials called "furniture". The numbers on the cabinet are "picas". In the picture is a pica ruler, the numbers on the ruler will correspond with the numbers on your cabinet. Go on a site called the "Briar Press" and you will see some there.
The cabinet in my picture should be turned 90 degrees
I'm always fascinated how certain trades have a language all their own. "Riglet", "pica ruler", "furniture".
And, of course, "hog's head".
I worked for years in a print shop where the guy that did the design and layout graduated from university with a degree in fine art, he learned on the job but every thing he did was in inches, 1/32 1/16 etc instead of pica's and so forth.
6 "pikers" to an inch. Our excellent shop teacher was from Brooklyn.
We called the ruler a "pica pole". There was still an operating linotype machine in the shop where I worked in the 60's. It was an absolute mechanical marvel.
Didnt the linotype create slugs?
Yes, similar to the Ludlow. Furniture was used when you put a page together in a chase to keep the block of handset type - or slugs - in position. They used quoins to wedge everything tight in the chase. You did not want to pi your type!
Printing letter press shop trays back when i had my letter press we used them for art cuts and lead spacers
Some words I haven't seen used in a long time.
The lost art of typesetting. I used to be pretty good at it. But haven't done any for nearly fifty years now. I don't think I could find my way around a type case anymore.
Wayne I bet you could still find the "e" box.
jogging my memory too. 12 pts to the pica. '10 pt pitch'. One beginning assignment was to set and print the PCL baseball standings.
It was very interesting to me.
I think it's like riding a bicycle, it comes back in a hurry. I have only done some hobby letterpress, but I knew most of what was mentioned here. My first guess on the case was organ stuff, as a rank of organ pipes is usually 61 notes, although 73 used to be common too. But the minute "furniture case" was mentioned, YEP, that's it!
The pioneer museum has a Linotype on display, but someone raided the font cases, so they are empty! A shame as a Price & Teeple letter press was donated, complete with even a baseball game ticket and counters in a chase, and the Quoins wrench too. Press came with a motor attached, but it was originally a foot operated press, and there's enough parts around to make it one again.
Likely OSHA would have a fit watching a print manually feed the press!
Yeah, they were dangerous. There was little margin for error. One of my co-workers missed a placement and tried to grab the sheet. Big mistake!
Is it "riglet" or "reglet"?
When I was in college I worked part of one winter at the Dickinson Press in Dickinson, North Dakota. They still set with Linotype and printed on a flat platten press. It was fascinating to watch. The main typesetter was named Lillian. She smoked one Camel after another, took a drag every time the machine spit out a type slug and then set the next line. Woe be to anybody who talked to Lillian when she was typing but she was a great gal and friendly as she could be when she wasn't on "the machines." Part of my job was to carry the trays of slugs over to the elevator, set them in the carrier and take them down stairs to the pressman. Most of my job was taking the papers off the end of the press and carrying them to the tables so I didn't get much glamour out of it. Somewhere I still have the slug she made me with my name on it.
If you EVER come to Helena, Montana you have to go visit Aaron Parrott who is a literature and languages professor at Carroll College and has a letterpress hobby/business on the side. He sets and prints books, advertising, invitations, birthday greetings etc. on his presses. He has the old time font drawers in cabinets -- the whole deal.
I have sitting in my driveway a machine I'm donating to him that prints the brass tags for cream cans that he is coming to pick up some time next week. He will free it up and get it working, I hope.
I have a little machine that prints in gold leaf on book covers. It has a whole chingo of little sticks with letters on the end. It drove me crazy trying to make a thing to print "Compliments of your Christian Friends in Montana, USA" for my neighbor lady to print with. She sends bibles that people donate or donate money for to Camaroon -- where she is from. I spend half a day getting the right letters in the right place and getting it so it would emboss the right words on a Bible cover for her. I can't imagine type setting a whole newspaper every day.
"spent" not "spend."
Here is a picture of my Model T parked in front of the 19th. century print shop that my wife and I run on weekends.
Julian, that looks like fun. Wish I were closer, I'd love to visit your shop and see your car.
John, we enjoy preserving and interpreting American history including Model T Fords and old machinery. We travel to your part of the world a couple of times a year to visit our friend Lee Thevnet in Breaux Bridge.
Julian, is your friend the Lee Thevenet that does the old car replicas?
John, yes he is the one.
I remember the California job case, em quads, en quads and leads. I had a Kelsey hand press and a bunch of type when I was a kid. I'll bet I could relearn to sort type in about an hour.