Tag: Borders

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  • Wood Type Archaeology: Motive Power

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    On my most recent trip to Two Rivers and the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum, I rigged up a one-horsepower electric motor to the die stamping machine the Hamilton Manufacturing Company used to make decorative wood type border during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I was hopeful this motor would be sufficient to power the machine through its stamping action. It takes a fair amount of force to drive a stamping die into end-grain maple blocks, and the smaller motor I had tried in early January was not up to the task.

    Motorizing the die stamping machinery is a vital precursor to the experimental work I am doing with the machine as part of my thesis research in the Industrial Archaeology program at Michigan Technological University. When the stamping machine was installed and in operation in the Hamilton Manufacturing Company’s type shop a century and more ago, it would have been in constant motion. The machine has no throw-off lever or clutch mechanism of...

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