Identifying a matrix cabinet

I recently purchased this matrix cabinet and would like to know if anyone is familiar with this particular type of cabinet. The previous owner suggested that it was either an Intertype or Monotype cabinet, but I was wondering what company actually made it. Thanks!

image: Type Cabinet 1 - Copy.JPG

Type Cabinet 1 - Copy.JPG

image: Type Cabinet 2 - Copy.JPG

Type Cabinet 2 - Copy.JPG

image: Type Cabinet 3 - Copy.JPG

Type Cabinet 3 - Copy.JPG

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Looks like the case is designed to hold linotype mats, or intertype mats. sometimes there is a label inside the cabinet or onn the bottom of the case, maybe you can find a picture of one in an old catalogue, hamilton made quite a few different cabinets.

What a beauty! All the slanted cabinets I’ve seen before are metal. This one’s a keeper!

The case or drawer pulls are likely to be a key to the mystery. Also, there appears to be the outline of a diamond-shaped label above the first drawer. Although it’s worn or scraped off, look for that in images of similar cabinets. Happy hunting.

That is exactly what I recently posted that I’m looking for!!!! I have one, and my daughter is desperate to get one too. I thought it was a Ludlow mat cabinet, but I was told it’s a Linotype cabinet.

Still looking hard for one! Did they have any more where you got this one?

Ludlow cabinets also have slanted cases, but they have boxes inside similar to a standard type case; some display-size cases just have horizontal strips.
When you have those sawtooth wedges, in any kind of printers case, it is for Linotype/Intertype mats.
I have one cabinet similar to this from Hamilton, but the wood is sheathed in sheet metal, just as they did with type cases. I also have an all-wood Linotype mat cabinet that has flat drawers but thin adjustable horizontal dividers, something like wood type cases. There are many variations to hold composing room materials. Not much use to photopolymer-only studios. One very pristine Ludlow cabinet I saw was sold to a trendy restaurant to use a greeter’s station, for well over a grand. The mind boggles. And no doubt the trendy resaturant is gone by now and the cabinet scrapped.

The man who sold this to me is a retired printer. He was selling this at an antique mall. However, I talked to him yesterday and he says he has a houseful of printing presses and related materials. I’ve got an appointment to see him in two weeks and find out what else he is willing to part with. For Clothdog, I’ll see if he has another cabinet of this type available and let you know!

I’m pretty sure this wasn’t a Hamilton cabinet, although I’ve sent pictures to Jim Moran to see if he recognizes it. The pulls are the giveaway. In all of the other Hamilaton cabinets of that era, the pulls all had “Hamilton” stamped on the front. I think these are the original pulls, and they give no indication of a manufacturer.

My son, who works for M&H, said he thought it was a Ludlow case, but the printer I bought it from said he was sure it was either Linotype or Intertype…

Definitely a Hamilton cabinet. I have one with the label still on it. I actually have two. These were made to hold Linotype or Intertype matrices.

The handles don’t say Hamilton, but they have a slot into which a paper with the name of the matrice font (or whatever) was inserted to tell what each drawer held.

I use mine to store handset borders. They are PERFECT for this. The slant allows them to be set in rows, stood up, so 1.) you can immediately see the design and 2.) also see the length that you have available to work with. There’s nothing worse than starting to set a border and running short of what you really need.

Depending on the point size of the borders, I can lay out a bunch of lines in each “trough”. Because of the angles of the troughs and the slant of the drawers nothing falls over when you open or close them.

In 30+ years of picking up type and presses and cabinets, etc. I have only run across one of these twice and I bought them each time. Not something that is common at all so jump on them if you have the opportunity to get one.

Both of mine are wood, but a metal one would function just as well.


Thank you, RLFerrett, for keeping me in mind when you visit with the gentleman again.

Thanks to all for your help! I searched for “Hamilton Matrix Cabinet” on Google, and found a PDF copy of The Inland Printer from 1899. In it was an ad for a Hamilton matrix cabinet. It is a different model, with a roll-top lockable cover and different pulls, but still the same idea. I’ve posted a couple of pictures below.

image: Hamilton Matrix Drawer 1899 Inland Printer.JPG

Hamilton Matrix Drawer 1899 Inland Printer.JPG

image: Hamilton Matrix Cabinet 1899 Inland Printer.JPG

Hamilton Matrix Cabinet 1899 Inland Printer.JPG

I should have mentioned that there were a variety of sizes and styles. Mine do not have the roll-top front. One is 8-drawer and the other is 12-drawer.


There is a 1905 Hamilton Catalog available:

The drawer/case pull is pictured on page 72, and a Matrix Cabinet is on page 153. These are the original page numbers printed in the catalog - not the page numbers showing in Adobe Acrobat. Hope this helps.

I am downsizing my place and will be parting with this one in the very near future. If anyone is interested, contact me! Thanks,


I will have to let this cabinet go. If anyone is interested in buying it for a reasonable price, please let me know. It must be picked up in Southeast Michigan, near Ann Arbor.


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