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OT: Old Wooden Printing Divided Type Tray

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by DoubleAuto, Aug 19, 2010.

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  1. DoubleAuto

    DoubleAuto Well-Known Member

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    I have an old wooden divided printing type tray. It has a white powder or marks in some of the divisions. I would like to use it as a glass covered curio wall hanger. Is there anything that I can use to make sure that anything that was used in the printing process it neutralized and/or cleaned out before I put items in it?

    Any help is appreciated.

    DoubleAuto
     
  2. parrothead

    parrothead Member

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    GOJO Hand Cleaner. It works great on cleaning old wooden items and antiques. It will cut the crud, wax, and greasy buildup and leave the wood with a nice warm glow. -Dan
     
  3. capvan

    capvan Active Member

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    Pretty appropriate for a shooter. It once held lead type. I've been in the printing industry for over 40 years. My first job was hand-setting small forms from these cases. Lots of history in them. Do you have a "California Job Case" or a "News Case". The News Case has compartments all the same size. The California Job Case has same size on the right and different sizes on the left.

    The good old days...

    Bruce

    KB1IIX@ARRL.net
     
  4. DoubleAuto

    DoubleAuto Well-Known Member

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    My wooden tray is from the Tennessee area (where I live).

    Capvan: Do you now of anything associated with the lead type that could have migrated to the wood and cause corrosion to anything I put in the tray?

    Thanks,

    DoubleAuto
     
  5. capvan

    capvan Active Member

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    Nope. If the type was left undisturbed for a long time, some of it may have oxidized and that would leave a white powder. I've never seen this happen, but it may occur. The name "California Job Case" has nothing to do with where the case came from. It came from the fact that the case was designed to carry type out west in the old frontier days. There is a really interesting history behind these type cases. I worked for a shop that had over 1,000 of them. Wish I had some of them now! They were busted up and burned.

    Bruce
    kb1iix@Arrl.net
     
  6. DoubleAuto

    DoubleAuto Well-Known Member

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    I haven't looked at my case/tray for years but I am pretty sure it has "Hamilton" on the handle. Remember it because it is the same name as the county I live in.

    DoubleAuto
     
  7. capvan

    capvan Active Member

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    I started training as a part-time job in repairing Linotypes. Love those machines. Fortunately, I saw the "handwriting-on-the-wall" and got out of it.

    Yep, I sure miss those good old days as well....

    Bruce
    kb1iix@arrl.net
     
  8. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    If you had a California Job Case you should have had a composing stick too.

    Man, this one is out of the wayback machine for sure.

    We made business cards in 7th grade shop class with these items. (1955)

    I see them once in a while at Goodwill etc.

    HM
     
  9. capvan

    capvan Active Member

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    Oh yes, composing sticks of various sizes. And a chase and furniture and quoins and galley trays. Amazing the current words that came out of the typesetting...upper case, lower case. The Shelburn museum here in Vermont has a whole section of a building full of the equipment. Ludlow machine, linotype, couple of platen presses, all sitting waiting for someone to fix them up and put them to use...

    Bruce
     
  10. C1

    C1 Member

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    I started my life in printing 53 years ago in a weekly newspaper in a small town in South Dakota. One of my jobs was to "kill" the paper each week, it consisted of taking it all apart, throwing the handset type back in the case (just putting it in the right compartments), and remelting the linotype slugs back into pigs for the next weeks paper. When you remelted the lead in a big witches kettle you had to dross it by adding wax so the impurities would come to the top to be skimmed off. When I ran out of wax I was instructed to put a potato on the end of a long poker and shove it down to the bottom of the kettle where the moisture escaped and "boiled" the lead taking all the impurities to the top. Well...being just 14 and hungry all the time I would cut the potato open and eat the fully cooked inside. Lead poisoning is just a myth as far as any old printer is concerned.

    Lots of fantastic stories from a long gone era. BTW, I just retired after 51 years in the printing business and "There were not any good old days in the printing business".

    Do you guys remember who Otto Boutin was? If you are an old printer you could not forget.
     
  11. capvan

    capvan Active Member

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    That is about the only thing I miss from the printing business, reading Otto's articles...

    capvan
     
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