What are these things?

About a year ago I found two of these in a drawer of type. I’ve recently purchased 8 cabinets of type and keep finding these. I have about 20 (so far) and I have no idea what they are. Thank you.

image: DSCN0698.JPG


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Looks to me that these are hole punches.

These are described in an old ATF catalog (1912 I believe) as follows:

The Bullock Ejector Press Punch is a useful device, which is made two points lower than type-high. One or more of them can be locked up in a type form and will cut a clean round hole three-thirty-seconds of an inch, one-eighth of an inch, three-sixteenths or one-quarter of an inch, in paper or card stock at the same time as the job is printed. The Punch will not clog, as each piece cut is automatically
ejected by the plunger and falls to the floor as soon as the impression is released. The ejector protects the rollers from any danger of injury from the cutter. The cutters are all
mounted on the same size body and as all parts are interchangeable, new cutters can be readily fitted. The spring for controlling the ejector can be strengthened by turning the screw at the bottom.

Sizes available were as follows:

Punch for 3/32”, 1/8”, 3/16” or 1/4” on bases 7/16” square.
Punch for 5/16”, 3/8” on bases 9/16” square.

Replacement parts were available. In your photo, the center piston in the top section is removeable as is the screw adjuster in the bottom section which in your photo is not visible. They were available from the American Printing Equipment Co. at least as late as the 1980’s though perhaps from a different manufacturer.


Front Room Press
Milford, NJ

Wow, what an impressive little machine. Thank you very much.

I use these once in a while. Its usually faster to drill.
The spring keeps the punch from getting clogged, but it doesn’t clear the hole. So you need to take a nail punch and clear the entire job by hand. Pretty ponderous.

Thanks for posting this. I have two of these as well. Mine say Triumph 1 - 4 on the side. and have a hex head to open the spring. I would have never guessed they were hole punches.