Equipment in use at the Excelsior Press Museum Print Shop

The Kelsey Excelsior Type Case
circa 1892

Excelsior Type CaseExcelsior Type Cabinet, circa 1892In The Kelsey Company's 1892 Printer's Guide and Dictionary, they advertise this "Excelsior Type Case" with an "improved patent plan". At the time, the familiar "California Job Case" was the standard for job fonts, and the old style "upper" and "lower" cases were used for book and periodical composition. The more familar "Two-Thirds" style case made by Thompson Cabinet Company places the uppercase characters accross a double row across the top the case, but this one promises to "Save Time" by placing the caps and lower case boxes adjacent. Frankly, I think it lead to more confusion, since this design seems to have dropped in favor of the Thompson-style 2/3 case which Kelsey sold until they closed their doors in the 1980's...

We are particularly curious about the row of 32 inaccessible boxes across the top. We were taught to never use tweezers when setting type, however, any letters stored in these tiny boxes could only be retrieved using tweezers.

We have a dozen or more of these in our collection and had been curious about their origin until the recent acquitions of a hard-copy edition of the Kelsey Printer's Guide and Dictionary, copyright 1892, in which we found the advertisement shown below.

Kelsey Excelsior Type Case Layout - circa 1892

The Kelsey Excelsior Type Case and Cabinet, circa 1892

The Common 2/3 size Type Case sold by Kelsey through 1994.

Layout of the Kelsey 2/3 California Job Case made for Kelsey Company by Thompson Cabinet Company of Luddinton, Michigan

Layout of the 2/3 size California Job Case
 made for Kelsey Company by Thompson Cabinet Company of Luddington, Michigan
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