Curved Hamilton Brackets

Hi all,

I bought these Hamilton brackets and the lead/slug tray that’s pictured here today. When I first saw the brackets I thought they were flat on the bottom. However when I purchased them I found that they have a curve at the end. Does anyone have a picture of them installed and are they suppose to hang over the cabinet?

I figure I would just place a piece of wood under the back of the brackets so I could make use of the full surface of the cabinet. However, I would like to see how they were mean’t to be used. Thanks in advance.

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i think they should be flush with the front of the cabinet, a california type case should fit on it.

i think they should be flush with the front of the cabinet, a california type case should fit on it.

Check this book online- page 532 onward should be most useful.

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

The depth of the standard type cabinet does not allow for the uppercase/lowercase setup that older compositors would have needed. The old wooden news stands are much deeper, and had room for two cases that way. The extended case brackets made it possible to use two cases on top of the more modern case stand. A single lead and slug rack on the top might be too heavy to be supported by just two brackets.


To follow up on the earlier comments by Daniel and Paul, take a look at, for example, the “New York Space-Saving Case Stands” on p. 851 of the 1898 ATF Desk Book:

It shows in use on a stand the “New York” style of case bracket that Daniel pointed out. I would guess that a number of other catalogs from the period might show the same - this was just the first one I checked.

David M.

Thanks everyone for the feedback and references, it’s very helpful.

Paul, I was hoping to use these brackets to hold the lead/slug rack. Do you think the weight differential would be significantly more from say a larger font of uppercase?

Amongst the myriad of letterpress things I’ve collected and used over the decades, brackets have been one of my favorites. I probably have at least a half-dozen different sets of style/designs. The ones you show are definitely meant to hang over the front edge of the cabinet.

I don’t think I’d attempt to hold a full lead/slug rack (at least not the double-wide variety) using just two brackets. Three or four (two sets) might work though. They are iron and the massive amount of wieght of a full lead/slug rack could stress them to the point of failure.

I do have some extra sets of various styles. The brackets were always just too charming for me to pass up grabbing and bringing home over the decades.



Any chance you have one/two of these brackets that you would be willing to sell? I also would be open to a trade.

Hi Matt,

I’ll look around tonight and get a count of what I have as excess inventory. I am sure I have a pair of these I can sell to you. Where are you located? I am in central Iowa.


OK. I poked around a bit and here is what I have EXTRA of:

I have two sets of the New York Case Bracket that is shown above.

I have on set of the Double Case Bracket, Style B shown on the referencfe provided by Daniel at The Arm NYC above. Of particular interest is that this pair has the name Lester A Beecher, Chicago cast onto the right side.

I have three pairs of No. 4 Hamilton 3 Case Bracket shown on page 1030 of the 1906 ATF catalog. This bracket sits flat on top of the cabinet (no hangover) and funtions like the NY Case Bracket, but also has a case-holder on the backside. This allows for the brackets to be set on top of a cabinet accessable from both sides so that two cases can bet set on it facing one side in addition to another case set on it facing the other side.

I will be at The Annual Midwest & Great Northern Printer’s Fair on September 22 and can bring any of these with me for anyone wanting to buy them. I think $25 a pair would be reasonable.


I should have mentioned that Great Northern Printer’s Fair takes place in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, which is in the southeastern corner of the state. It is well worth coming to if you are looking for “stuff”. We usually have over twenty tables chock full of goodies for sale at the swap meet on Saturday morning.


Hi Folks:

Here’s a snapshot of some portable case brackets I constructed a couple of years ago. I can move this contraption from one type cabinet to another, regardless of location or depth of cabinet. I can even bring it in the house to compose, distribute or lay type in the case in the winter.

I made sure that the brackets are set far enough apart to hold two-thirds cases as well as California job cases.


—David Smith, the Armchair Detective.

image: Case Brackets.JPG

Case Brackets.JPG

Rick, thanks for all the info, I will contact you.

David, that’s a great idea!