A friend is selling off his printer teacher dad’s stuff and we found this. It comes as three separate parts, the proof press like gizmo marked Lin-O-Type and manufactured in Chicago. It has a bed of paper like material with a printed grid. The ink plate part is the same height as the “proof” press and the other object has two springs the length of the metal both ends of which are secured. It appears to be for the educational market because instructions on the ink pad part are aimed at students. Any ideas what it is?

Also, was furniture ever solid steel. There’s a bunch of bars ranging in length from about 4 inches to a foot, all different thicknesses and marked on both height edges as 2 5 or 4 0 (no decimal but a large space between numerals). It’s not the length in picas, inches, etc. Thanks.

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Sorry - I thought the images made it. Plese look at under What Is It? Thanks.

OK - I just found out that it is indeed a proof press, but what I do not know what the add-on gizmo is with the two springs. Thanks

A Line-o-Scribe is a sign press. That is, it was designed to print from display type onto cardstock. In their day they were common in department stores and used for signage.
Some of these presses have notches at the side of the bed to hold spacing material or strips on which the type is straddled, some have spring-loaded grippers at the head to hold the stock.
I didn’t find any images at the link you posted. To post here on BriarPress you can’t use certain characters in the name: & for sure, probably /, and others.

You just now found out that you have a sign press, used in pre-computer days to print signs in places like Sears Roebuck, Montgomery Wards, and a lot of department and fashion stores. These were supposedly built in many sizes by Vandercook. I’d like to help you with the “add-on gizmo with two springs” but I don’t want to give my life history to Yahoo in order to to log in. If you can post the picture here I’m sure someone can help you. Sorry!

Thanks to all - let me try once again to post the spring gizmo. I hope that you can see it here…

I believe your Line-o-Scribe baseplate with two springs is their space-efficient version of a drying rack. Since sign presses were typically printing on relatively heavy cardstock such as posterboard or boxboard, the printed pieces would stand upright in the springs, separated by enough air space for the ink to dry reasonably quickly.

Thank you Dave and everyone else.

Also, anyone know about the solid steel marked bars that I mentioned in my original query? Thanks.

The image looks like the top of a proof drier to me. Is that plug connected to it? What is below?
The complete device would have a quartz bulb or something similar and an opening for the proofs to be inserted. The springs are there to prevent contact with the hot metal top when it is turned on, perhaps also to help dissipate heat.

Dave Robison had it right. This is a simple drying rack. The ‘showcard’ presses were designed to print just that - showcards. They were relatively stiff (like chipboard) so they could be pressed down into the springs to allow the printed cards to stand up and air-dry. Big cards could straddle both springs, smaller ones only needed one spring. There are no cords or heaters or anything else.

The beauty of these is that they could be stood up and leaned against something to take up very little space when not in use.

In addition to the steel bars mentioned above, there were also bars with a “sawtooth” top that slotted type could be placed on (for alignment) and little spring clips could be used to hole the type in position on the line. I think that Showcard presses employed those.


OK - all done and thanks very much to all.

Huh. Maybe that means the springs on top of proof driers are also drying racks. It never occurred to me.