Can you name this guillotine?

I brought this guillotine off ebay. It used to belong to a bookmaker. I’m interested in learning more about this guillotine. I can’t seem to find any names or numbers on the guillotine. Does anyone recognise it?

Many thanks, Liam

image: guillotine.JPG


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I will call him “Steve”

“Steve” looks fairly unusual. Is the blade operated by a lever or that flywheel on the right?


Looks like a Single end pull style blade-carriage to me- the pivot on the right next to the flywheel is stationary, and the angled ‘knee’ on the other side is actuated by a rotary mechanism which is probably driven by that wheel. Whether it is hand powered or motor/clutch is another story.
This is somewhat similar mechanically to (though looks different from) a Seybold, for example.

But, it’s no Seybold as far as I can tell. Looks german or swiss.

The press is operated by the flywheel by hand.
If I can’t find what model it is, I will name him steve.

Do you have any more pictures of it? I think that could help others.

Probably out of shot,! Is their a substantial Krank handle on the flywheel, bigger version of the Back gauge & Stock clamp, by implication, hand operated.! possibly.

Some time ago we saw similar in the U.K. English origin.

Out of favour eventually, too slow and frowned on by H.&S. Lack of guard etc.

2 or 3 points that did transpire, (Long learning curve B.P. was way in the future) although the clamp would accept far more than the M/c. could cut in theory, with all the will in the world and with the limited amount of inertia that could be put into every pass, ONE REAM at somewhere near the width of the first cut was the limit.


With no original instructions and before B.P. it seemed logical to return the blade to its highest point prior to the next cut, fortunately and occasionally, after cutting a big ream speed and inertia caused the blade to stop short on its upward rise, FALSE LOGIC implied taking it (The Knife) right to the top.

Eventually and slowly, it sank in, that if we gained some momentum BEFORE the blade began its descent we stood a better chance of cutting a ream in one complete pass.

It was hard work and unsatisfactory hand kranking the last few sheets of Art paper or Grey board etc, because it had stalled.

At or near *The death* we saw, too late, one or two Cutters/Guillotine,s with primitive guards and dog clutches, (is Yours thus equipped) which meant that a fair modicom of inertia, could be achieved, probably a staggering 10 R.P.M. ish., as opposed to 2 or 3, but enough to clear a ream of art paper.

As you imply NO names or numbers etc. the Foundry of Origin for the original castings, virtually always included casting pattern or style numbers within the casting,s.

Some can be seen in your shot.

It may be impossible or impractical, but is it remotely possible that a trawl of Foundries in existance at the approximate time period for the Cutter may help.

It may even be worth a close inspection of the rear of the flywheel, under the table, rear of the stanchions etc. for distinguishing pattern marks.

Is their a serial number of any sort stamped into the bed, rear, beyond the travel of the back stop,?

Usual apologies and Good Luck.

I’ll be quick after Micks usual verbose replies.
This is a Thompson Gem guillotine. I think a No. 2. I’ve shifted a few of these. This is a later model with solid flywheel.
They were made in Manchester.