Need some help identyfing and dating this Hamilton Cabinet

I’m hoping someone can help me date and identify this Hamilton cabinet. It’s a beautiful piece (IMO) and I’m hoping to find some information about it. Thanks in advance!

image: cab1-L.jpg


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I worked in a shop that used this same cabinet to store spacing material. Each drawer held a different sze of quads and spaces, a couple held quoins, etc.
How are the drawers configured?

There are slots cut 5 on each side and one in the front of the drawer and one in the back of each drawer which means that you could create 10 different cubbies for lack of a better word in each drawer. My cabinet only came with 8 of the slats that would fit from the front to the back of the drawer and no smaller slats to compartmentalize the drawer further. I did pick up matching oak and created 12 additional slats the correct length. Stained to match the existing cabinet slats. So there are 20 drawers each separated down the middle so there are to areas in each drawer. I hope I explained that correctly ;)

Do you know from what period of time this came from?

It looks like the №2 (2-Tier) Handy Sorts Cabinet that sold for $27.00. The brass label holder was 5 cents extra.

“The Handy Sort Cabinets are very compact and will hold an immense amount of material within a small floor space. A Cabinet of this kind should supplant the various tin can and cigar box arrangements which are to be found in so many printing offices. Such makeshift arrangements are most wasteful of time and material while Handy Sorts Cabinets, when properly equipped, filled and labeled are decidedly economical.

The Cabinets are made of hardwood throughout and are nicely finished.

Drawers are 8 1/2 x 20 inches over all and 2 1/8 inches deep inside.

Each Drawer is divided into ten compartments. Each compartment 3 1/4 x 3 1/8 x 2 1/8 inches inside.

Other sizes of the Handy Sorts Cabinets can be supplied at proportionate prices.

Brass Label Holders attached to any Cabinet at an addition to the list price of five cents for each Holder.”

Source: 1905 Hamilton Mfg. Catalog

image: hamilton.jpg


Holy cow! That’s it! Wow, only $27 back in the day… Thanks so much for the information. That’s just amazing. Does that date the cabinet to the early 1900’s?

Well $27 in 1900’s would be the equivalent of $752.00 today ( in Purchasing Power). Quite an investment.

But dang, if that thing isn’t pretty!

yes she is.. I walked into an antique store and my jaw dropped. The owner of the store didn’t really want to part with it but she finally relented. I think she’s a beauty for sure.

As for the age, probably somewhere between 1890 and 1917 (when they switched to metal furnishings). But don’t take my word for it.

Thanks for all the help. I really appreciate it. I’m here admiring it as I type this. Thanks again!

‘Tis a gem! To think such was made for the gritty work of letterpress printing! Imagine…

‘Tis a gem! To think such was made for the gritty work of letterpress printing! Imagine…

I have a single tier cabinet of the same age. It is unfortunately painted an industrial gray and not nearly in as beautiful shape as yours. I keep large spacing materials in it, it’s amazing how much weight it will take.


The cabinets are also shown in ATF’s 1906 catalogue, page 1022, though not mentioned as Hamilton. Yours is beautiful, and yes, they are sturdy. I have the 50-drawer version ($54 back then) that came out of large Worcester MA plant, full of Monotype ornaments they cast in-house. Thanks for showing off your find — look at the response. What do these things go for out there? I wonder. (Sun Hill Press)

Man I’d love to see the 50 drawer version! This thing is heavy with nothing in it (165 pounds). Loaded I’ll bet it’s nearly unmovable. I know that 50 drawer version you have has to be a beast to move!

Is that a laser printer on top of it? ;)

:) yes it is… melding the old with the new… ;)

Heh..last time I mentioned being a “printer” the other party inquired where to stuff the cartridge.

What are the words under HAMILTON on the handles?

sorry, it’s been a while since I’ve been on. The letters under HAMILTON are MFG CO.