Antique Equipment

I have J.L.Morrison Co. Perfection Wire Stitcher Model 3J. Circa 1922 in great condition. Can anyone tell me about this equipment, its value, etc.

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Since this is not yet quite 2022, your machine is not yet an antique. The word antique is tossed about with way too much abandon nowadays. Technically an antique is at least 100 years old. “Vintage” is the other word that bugs me and should be left to the wine folks.


Some museums call anything older than 75 years old an antique, but art and furniture dealers usually look for something 100 years old or more. In the car world anything over 25 years old is considered antique. I find that the older I get the difference between second-hand, old, and antique becomes a bit blurred. When I was 8 years old a 100 year old book would have been printed in 1863. I still think of a 100 year old book as being made in that year as only 100 years old, where in reality it is 150 years old. How often I have heard people say, “Well, it’s 100 years old, it MUST be valuable.” It is all relative.


“Antique” may have never been a precise term
for anyone not wrestling with tax code
or import duties.
Those trading in and collecting antiques
aren’t thinking “Is it 100 years old, yet?”
They’re thinking about margin, demand, condition,
& where it fits in their collection
or how it meets their studio needs.
“Antique” simply means old & valued.
So in the real world this person
has a real antique.

Demand is sketchy on these things
and depends on wether or not they work.
We were given wire stapler recently
but repair will be a challenge.
Several of our members would like to make
more moleskin style notebooks
out of scrap & trim.

Got any pictures, Susan?
And are you looking to use it
or flip it?


I think the definition of “Antique” varies greatly with the object being described, and wh is describing it. I know in many states, a car becomes an “antique” at 25 years old. … which I find odd. It’s funny to see mid-80’s Buicks running around with Antique Car Tags on them! I agree that the term is too subjective to have any real meaning.

BESIDES, I was called an “Antique” just a few weeks ago, and I’ve got a few more decades to go before I hit the 100 year mark! Oh … wait…. maybe I was called a “Fossil”…. no, maybe it was a “relic”…. or was it “old fart”? Oh hell… now I can’t remember…..

If it doesn’t work, and you can’t get parts for it, it’s a bloomin paperweight, or decor or what have you. Call it an antique if it will help you sell it.

If you can get it to work and have parts for it (does it take a currently supported stitch head?), then it will have the value of whomever buys it as a stitcher.

A lot of a machine’s value is dependent on location (where the other buyers are or aren’t) and the condition of the machine. If “antique” figured in values, a lot of platen presses would rank right up there, but of course location and condition trump antiquity.

A lot of hat and no cattle yet. So we have had a discussion about my word antique but no one has actually answered my question. Does this have a value and marketability and what is it worth?? Mike/Calvert - you were helpful

Yes I have pictures. Send me a private note with your e-mail and I will send pictures. Name plate is interesting with patent in US, Germany, Canada and France numbers.

Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to your question. Is it a table-top or free-standing stitcher? Do you know what kind of staples or wire spools the machine takes? If the necessary supplies are still available and the machine works, it likely has some value. If they’re not available, it’s a beautiful piece of industrial sculpture, whether it works or not.

Another thing affecting value is going to be the location of the machine, both geographic and whether it’s in an easily accessed location within whatever building it’s stored in. Where are you and/or the stapler located? What kind of building is it in? Where in that building? How much does the machine weigh and is it already on a pallet?

If it’s in, say, Seattle, WA in a warehouse with both ground-level loading and a dock and already palleted and strapped, it may well be worth more to someone than if it’s in a disused basement behind 3 tons of other equipment down a rickety staircase under an old building in rural South Africa. Or whatever.

It is in a printing shop in MN with easy access to a shipping door. No problems here. No in Africa. by the way, thanks to those who responded to my question in a helpful way. I appreciate it. s

It is free standing. Has a large spool of wire loaded. Don’t know what kind. Can put it on a pallet easily. Well maybe not easily but two guys should be able to do it.

Susan, within a few short days you will have worked out how easy it is to bring the *Advisers* out of the woodwork!! . . On this site, there would appear to be maybe 3 (or more) kinds of contributors, Those that genuinely want to help and further the cause of the progression of L/press… . Those that want to get their name in the frame, and outshine their rival contributors whether it is constructive or not!!!! … And then the *advisers* with a vested interest, like “heres a soft touch, imply its a load of rubbish, and offer a few Dollars LESS” … . With the modern wire spool drum already on, by implication it has been in use fairly recently, and also by implication, parts and service will surely be available also… The nameplate alone, *!looks beautiful!* even without the machine attached to it would be valuable, certainly to a genuine L/press devotee, for a working machine where the name plate had been *hived off* beforehand?? … Think of the Spiel if/when advertised on open forum or E bay etc, Offered with *Original Beautiful Nameplate and spec* at 3 times the price, as a collectors item??? . . and prohibiting a genuine devotee from acquiring… . Unfortunately the syndrome is rife here in the U.K. (in principle at least) a few of the old ones are passionately trying to help the new ones revive and keep alive the art, (L/press) and constantly seeing, just as an example, complete fonts/whole cases of poster type being broken up and sold as individual letters, for back to front ornaments etc etc, consequently depriving new keen devotees of the opportunity to reproduce traditional printed ephemera!!! … IT HURTS when opportunists are flogging our heritage… . Susan Good Luck.

I would suggest contacting the folks listed below. They are extremely knowledgeable about bindery machinery, and might be able to connect you with an interested party.


So Mick you belong to the “name in frame”category sub section - Lot’s of talk but little say sub category. Thanks for clearing that up.

A wire stitcher has great value to anyone here that produces order of service , or any other once usage items that require stapling for ease of production or a means to reduced binding costs .
A free standing stitcher that forms its own staple is much more use than a bog standard stapler ,a ten year old machine is not much more expensive than a seventy year old one but if you buy it from a dealer in todays trade it can cost you as much as £1500 uk for a wreck and up to 2000 for a tidy one but no dealer will give you more than £100 for one you may want to off load .
The need is what sets the price ,if you have a need it is worth the same as your desperation ,you pay what you have to but should you hasve work that requires stitching then a couple of hundred dollars is not a lot if you avoid continuously paying bindery,s to do it for you .
I have a british vickers saddle and stab stitcher out back it will probably end up in the bone yard through lack of interest ,i have never seen a request for any uk briar member wanting one .

Peter - I’d be sad about anything ending up in a bone yard that could potentially be used / taught to be used.

The more I chat to people about this new, old interest of mine, the more I find an upswell of people in my generation (I’m just 30) who want to learn this stuff.

I’m not in this for the money (gosh…), I’m not rich, but I am keen and I think that’s the main thing.

Susan - I hope you find a suitable home for the stitcher - it sounds lovely.

I found an ad for this model of wire stitcher in a web search.

image: Morrision3J.JPG


It is here to save from scrap ,the boneyard is the spares bin to me ,they are still in use in the trade and the spares are becoming harder to get so its got a life in its parts long before its reaches the frame that i have never seen break .

Chances are that it will work , these old dears dont seem to go wrong and they are actually very simple mechanisms with few parts that a competent metalworker cant repair or reproduce as long as the old parts are there .the clincher block in the saddle may prove tricky but the rest is less of a problem to repair or renew .
I wont scrap it , I just dont intend to put time into it other than for its parts , they arenot so easy to get and although they are old there are thousands of them still in use i

That’s good. I have stabbed myself with an awl too many times to allow such things to rust into oblivion :)

Self harming is for another site ,this one has too many print men who will find it hilarious!!