I was honored to have recently pay a visit to the University of Dallas as a Visiting Artist. Juergen Strunck is the printer there and had a bunch of type, tools, equipment, and other doo-dads either donated or bought. I was able to identify several of the pieces for him, but a few mystified me.

I told him I’d do my best to find people who could ID these parts, if anything just for curiosities sake. Sooooo….

1) It’s a gripper of some sort, but to what? He has a Hacker Hand Press and an Old Vandercook Composing Room Cylinder (sans serial) that he dates to 1913, but I think that he may have been reading the patent date on the faceplate. Neither seems to fit.

2) Obviously a pin registration, but for my own curiosity, does this style have a name?

3) No clue, no idea, no inkling

4) Leathery and no clue…not even sure that it is anything but a thing. Perhaps you’ll know.

5) & 6) The last two images don’t stump me for what it is, I’m just curious as to the sizes on the side. Maybe the previous owner just had a penchant for specific sized regulates, but I thought the sizes may have been for something particular that someone here may know about. 22.5, 24, 27 as well as standards 15, 30, 40 but missing 20, 25 etc… Any thoughts about those numbers or is it just “a mystery”?

As always, thanks for the time and thought put into responding

Joseph Lappie

image: gripper.jpg


image: pinreg.jpg


image: thing01.jpg


image: thing02.jpg


image: holder.jpg


image: holder02.jpg


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#3 (thing01.jpg) is a matrix used in casting a line of type from hot metal, most likely from a Linotype machine. If you turn the matrix (or “mat”) on its side you will see the characters that your mat would cast. Your mat has two characters, such as a capital and lowercase letter, as on a typewriter. Roughly speaking, a Linotype operator would type the copy on a keyboard and the corresponding matrices would drop from a magazine and line up to form the mold from which a line of type was cast. Then the matrices were distributed automatically by the machine, using the notches in the end of the mat to determine where the character was returned to the magazine.

thing one is a linotype mat, thing 2 looks like ludlow mats, the last two seem to be home made,the size 22 1/2 is the standard size of a ludlow slug. as for 24 and 27 it was probably just a size the printer used a lot so he kept that size, 24 is 4 inches about the size for post cards, the second picture is a finger that goes on a gripper on a platten press that helps to hold the sheet on the top sheet, they come in different lengths and are placed away frum type on blank space to pull the sheet from the form after it is printed, if placed wrong it will smash type. hope this helps dick g. also the first picture looks like a gauge pin. i have some of these, but i never could figure them out, somebody on this list will know.

The pictures labeled “Gripper” and “Pinreg” are both fingers which assist, as DickG indicated, in holding sheets against the platen as the press opens. The one with the lever fits on grippers which have teeth cut in one side to hold the finger at a partcular level on the gripper. The other just uses the force of the clips to hold it on the gripper.

It is hard to tell by the picture, but I would guess that the “holder” is a rack in which would be stored leads, slugs, or furniture cut to the width indicated in picas on the shelf. The printer must have used these specific sizes often in the work they produced.

I don’t have a clue from the photo as to what “thing02” might be.


Juergen will be thrilled that his mystery pieces have been de-mystified.

Thanks for the aid.