aka "No. 1601 Hamilton Electric Page Storage System"
One of their popular cabinet designs included what was known as a "Letter Board" rack, designed to store heavy-duty Letter Boards which were just a tad large to fit into standard type cabinet, but were ideal for semi-permanent storage of forms that were too large to store in any normal sized galley.
Letterboards are very handy, but can also get very heavy. Sliding one in and out of the rack is easy enough, but removing one could well be beyond the physical capacity of any comp or make-up man.
These letter board racks were often found integrated into a make up table and kept relatively low to the ground. They might hold 5-10 boards total.
Enter the Hamilton Motorized Letter Board Storage Cabinert as seen here. It can store twice the normal number of letter boards.
This one is currently in Iowa - in the collection of John Deason and has an electrically-powered elevator in front to give the comp easy access to any letterboard in the cabinet.
Note the power switch for the elevator which moves up and down in front of the cabinet. When the elevator is aligned with the letterboard that holds the form you are looking for, it can be moved out on to the rack and raised or lowered to match the height of a heavy, wheeled table commonly known as a "turtle", named for the company that made the most popular of these heavy tables - which could easily handle a form - or even a large locked up chase that would otherwise be very difficult to move.
This was a clever back-saving device which became somewhat obsolete during the 1960s and 70s as the newspapers and larger letterpress printing plants which could afford such investments no longer had a need for it as they converted their printing process from Linotypes and Letterpresses to photo-typesetters and lithographic offset printing...
But this one is still in use in John's private print shop - although it may be moving on to a new home as he downsizes his shop.
Page 75 of the 1957 Hamilton Equipment Catalog
scan courtesy of Dennis Headrick
And now, installed in our shop and ready to go to work organizing the overwhelming amount of type in galleys -and in packages which we are preparing to offer for sale...
John Deason and Dennis Headrick contributed to the content on this page.
page last updated April, 2019
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