Identifying a hole punch

I am hoping to find out more about something really interesting I saw at the library a couple of years ago. Sadly, I did not take photo. It was a paper punch that identified the book as property of the Portland Public Library. It was not embossed, but rather a series of tiny holes into the paper that made up each letter. I would guess the height of each letter was 36 pt or so. The books were quite old, so I am guessing this technique or device is not used any more.

Does anyone know what this is called and if it is possible to order custom still?

Not exactly a letterpress question, but since there is so much knowledge out here of all things related, I thought I’d give it a shot!


Log in to reply   4 replies so far

Were the holes all the way through the paper or just pressed into the cover? Sounds interesting.

All the way through - punched out completely.

These were (are) known as peg-operated perforaters, some modern versions are shown here:

Old versions used to cancel checks, currency, stocks, bonds…and…library books, are quite rare.
You might look in small town antique shops, and possibly on ebay.

Thanks SP!

Later on today my curiosity got the best of me and I called the library. They knew exactly what I was talking about and offered to show it to me. So I went there and they did. Check it out:

Now…how to get one of these. Wondering if there’s something I can do to make my press give the same effect? Similar to a die cut, but with tiny hole punches? I love the effect!