Printer’s furniture and lock up

I was wondering what someone could tell me about this Morgans and Wilcox Mfg. Co. furniture and lock up set that I have (2”, 3” and 4”). I have looked up their patent on Google patents. Patent #683,249 by R. Cochran from September 24, 1901. How long were they in use? Are they rare? Any info would be great!

image: furniture and lock up.jpg

furniture and lock up.jpg

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Kind of like the offspring of a quoin and a piece of metal furniture. Looks pretty neat! I’ve never seen a set before…

I have two of these. They’re handy for mounting small stuff in my 12x18” C&P. I really like them.

Pulled ‘em out of a print shop. Besides that I don’t know anything about them. BUT THEY SURE WORK GOOD.

According to the 1923 ATF Specimen Book they are “officially” called M&W Job Press Locks. They were touted as a real time saver for locking up forms…and they are. I’ve attached a picture of page 949 of the ATF book. It might not show well. There is a link to the 1923 ATF book online:

Be sure to look for page 949 at the bottom of the actual DJVU page scan online (don’t just rely on the number you input in the search box, you have to type 951 in the search box to get pages 948 and 949, it’s a little slow).

image: 949 MW Locks.JPG

949 MW Locks.JPG

The fewer pieces in a lockup, the more firm it will be (assuming all is square). So replacing several pieces of furniture and a quoin (or two) with one piece (plus reglet if quoin would be against metal) can be a serious improvement.
A couple years back I was in an old shop being closed out and the stone had drawers full of them, and more on galleys, perhaps a hundred or more. But the dealers who sold the presses there left all the job locks to the scrappers. Why, because they’d never seen them used in any printshop (and not from being unobservant).
I don’t think I’ve seen any advertising or catalog listing of Morgans & Wilcox after the Depression or WWII, so manufacture was probably not more than 40 years. But these are very durable items, and they continued to be sold used until the present.

I had quite a few of these at one point, they work quite well and are just cool. But a bit wonky in some cases. Not exactly as precise as one would hope. As they wore they got a bit sloppy.

I suspect they lost out to speed furniture, which is (was) simpler and thus far less complicated to manufacture, easier to store (came with cabinet if so desired), and more efficient (quickly adjustable, and later versions made in lightweight aluminum). Most of the aluminum stuff I still have was either made in Holland(?) or Los Angeles.

Earlier speed furniture (Challenge) was made out of type metal but it got easily banged up and, of course, was heavy for its size.


Interesting! I know so much more now. Thank you for all your help and yes, these are rather heavy! They do move up and down easy and quickly though. I bought them for twenty bucks at an antique fair with some antique saw and set tools. I asked the seller what they were and she said she had no idea but had thrown them in with the saw stuff anyway. Mystery solved. I know nothing about printing but they will make interesting book ends in my home!

I have a set of three for sale if any body wants or needs them also have the T handle for locking them .. contact me if interested

hello i have come across the 5 inch and 3 inch

These were also produced into the early eighties by a company(?) named F.A.G. usually for use on flatbed proofers . they ratchet to spread with a pair of pincer levers if i remember correctly then you locked them up with a pin wrench , Mono type mick will probably put the proper info in for this as they were not really used on our cylinders or platens for printing ,a bit of kit from the comps department ,There is one kicking around here somewhere but we dont use it on our machines as they are not the safest of things for our work . I was discouraged from using gadgets when the time honoured quoin was our preference .

I’ve got four of these, only two of them still stay locked in position, the others are worn so that they’ll slip. They come in handy when I do large forms on my Nolan proof press.

Quick action Quoins, YES and NO? From a long time ago, (but then with me Everything was a long time ago!!!) Three different units used these type Quoins/Lock up devices, but only ever in conjunction with (as pictured) steel, skeleton or girder furniture (steel) as it seemed that the height of the pressure face(s) was only about 3 ems on the quoin and the same on the steel furniture, to match!! Usually, then the quoins resided on the bed of the big proof press, and were only used to proof on the press. Never ever saw them used as conventional quoins, (ESPECIALLY for example on a Vertical Miehle). They have the same mechanism (in essence) as the Ludlow, Self Centering Stick, I.E. Freewheel Out, Ratchet In, and locked with Pin Bar or Thumb Screw. Only ever used flat, and occasionally, and never intended for sustained and pressure use.>>And just as a little seminar, for the new ones, who may think, Good idea,? Blast from the past,? Try that?!!! Not to tweak the odd last, 1, 2, or 3 point on lock up, because if normal height quoins, can destroy even the BEST MONO-TRYPE strip material, what will 3 em (ish) high speed quoins DO.??

I have a bunch of them and they really are intended for a flatbed (proof) press. Their one fault is that they will automatically release if tightened too much! You can be putting the final squeeze on them and POP! No damage to them other than they release the tension. Probably designed to prevent chases from breaking.

I can see where any sustained pressure might not be their forte.