What is the correct name for this?

A few years ago as part of a deal we brought home this cool Hamilton cabinet and I wonder if there is an official name for the style.

It has the cast composing stone top, the two short drawers on top have marble inserts, the large one below those pulls open downwards and has metal storage units inside, the the two doors at the bottom open to shelves. One of the things I think is cool about it is the two sides have doors that open to roller storage and the back to more shelves/roller storage so I assume the piece was designed to be free standing in the work space.

Maybe there is no special name for it but Its one of my favorite things we have brought home from press deals. It never made it past the garage because the person helping and I were barely able to lift the top up high enough to put it back on the base, its been in that spot by the C&P in the garage ever since.

image: Cabinet.jpg


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I believe the correct term is: Beautiful!

I agree! I’ve been around letterpress equipment for the past 5 years or so and seen a lot of Hamilton pieces in person and online but never another one like this. It gets really cold in the garage in winter but its constructed very well and doesn’t seem to mind at all. I just keep the top oiled and clean so it doesn’t rust and do the same with the wood using whatever furniture polish I have around at the time.

I’d find a way to get it in the house if I wasn’t worried about the floors sagging under it, the iron top has to be 3” thick :)

It can be seen in steel form on page 1107 of the 1923 ATF Catalogue. It is the wood version of the Hamilton Platen Pressroom Cabinet No. 5105. It has two adjustable shelves for inks, a drawer with a glass mixing tray, a drawer for small tools, and two bins for clean and soiled rags. On the other side should be storage for smaller rollers for platen presses. The cabinet’s shipping weight was 250 pounds; with the iron top 450 pounds.

As M3 says, beautiful !!!, many moons ago, Printers *furniture* (In U.K. certainly) was not only functional, but usually of Solid Timber construction, (NOT Cold Pressed Steel as later) I.E.Stone Bases, Composing frames, Forme racks, Case racks, etc etc, much kinder in the winter, always pleasing to work with and on.?
Virtually always of substantial *Oak* construction, bolted together laterally, Dome head to the front, big Square nuts to the rear, (probably forged by a *Smithy* rather than Engine turned on a lathe)??
The Stone atop the one in question, is obviously HEAVY by design, but probably, Heavily Webbed underneath.
Occasionally with 2 holes at either end, through at least 2 *webs* to insert lifting/transportation rods, some times plugged with rubber grommets. .
There seemed to be a *Generic* term, often used by specialist (printers) Auctioneers, who frequently used the term, >RANDOM< to describe such items, as above, when they were not actually sure which terminology to use,
at 25% of the “hammer” price of course.???
Nice entry, Good picture. Thank you.

A Random is a term used by British printers to denote a slanted top usually used for holding galleys rather than type cases. The term does not originate with uneducated auctioneers. It isn’t used in this country. The cast steel tops for imposing tables in this country have no holes for transport, but there is a specific way they are meant to be removed and installed, using ropes and timbers.

Many wooden printer’s cabinets and working tables survive, but countless others have fallen victim to water and termite damage, and others broken up and put in a fire or otherwise disposed. An examination of old catalogues will make modern printers wistful at their assortment and prices. Antique dealers have unfortunately discovered that they are of some value, and insist on pricing them beyond the means of hobbyists.

Since the question has been asked…
I would like to the know the manufacturing origin of this one, based in Australia. I would only guess that it may have arrived from our British neighbours.
Like ‘Technuts with the solid cast top and admired as much.
Note the joinery at the leg base for working height adjustment.

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Thank you for the info Devil’s Tail! I looked it up in the catalog and sure enough that is exactly what I have right down to the glass insert in the upper left drawer. It had crossed my mind that it might be for mixing ink but was never really sure.

Have the same hamilton roller storage cabinet. White Castle Hambers bought out a Printer in Detroit to expand their parking lot. Tore down the building to expand. Friend told me about what was happening and I contacted the printer and went down to see what he was selling. After a couple of months he decided what he was going to keep for his move to new location and what he was going to sell.
This imposing stone roller cabinet was against a wall. When we pulled it out we found it to have the roller storage on three sides. His father had it when he was a boy and for over 40 years that he continued his dads printing shop, he never knew it had all those rollers stored in it.
The one I have had the original top missing and another piece of well inked stone on top (a marriage of the two pieces).
Thanks for the insight about the two tin lined compartments for clean and dirty rags, I wasn’t sure what the design thought was to that part.

neveroutofsorts, I have a mid-1920s Stephenson Blake catalogue that shows an imposing frame very similar to yours with the flush pulls on the drawers. The bottom of yours looks like it was drastically altered in order to hold the galley racks underneath. The large mortices at the bottom would have been the cross-supports for the original set-up (giving space to put your feet under the edge while standing close to the frame). If you post measurements of the surface I can tell you the size designation.

Yes. its a Beautiful!

I’ve got a stone/table similar to neveroutofsorts and when I moved it in chalked on the underside of the iron stone was “Glasgow 1906”. It had come from the Government Printing Office Hobart Tasmania.

I’d have to disagree with Mick, in my neck of the woods referred to as an imposing surface or ‘stone’. The underneath can differ but all the printers I’ve cleared up here in t’North called them that.
We actually had a true stone in my Dads museum, a real rarity in the UK as from mid 1800s they were steel or cast iron topped and planed smooth.
I’ve always admired the marble topped ‘stones’ available stateside. Much better looking!

The thread drifts, but the story may be worth reading. Perhaps again.
The shop employee was resourceful and had the quality of initiative. The old marble stone was gouged and in generally poor shape. He had heard that some or most of them were surfaced on both sides so one could turn them to obtain a new surface. He did that.
The shop owner was unhappy with him and ordered it turned back. He explained that the good surface was to be saved and was intended to be inscribed as his tombstone. Either that was actually done, or makes an interesting fable.
If you try to turn a marble stone, be extremely careful. They can be extremely fragile.

With thanks Devils Tail Press,

The top surface measures 40” x 28” with a slight rebate on one edge of the long side that I assume is for resting a galley tray. And yes, definitely altered underneath for galleys at some point, roughly done.

Love the idea for future use as a tombstone! Although I fear
my children will make sure it’s used as a lid instead and include the rest of the collection… I suspect I’ve worn them out with my interest.