For sale is a vintage Kelsey "Excelsior" case drawer with what appears to be 2 sets of ATF type, left behind by my late father in his collection of treasures. But he restored the press and used it until he packed it up, when he went to serve in WWII.I've photographed my dad's diagram of the lay of the case (not included), but you can see a better diagram on the Kelsey site. I've also photographed the case as we found it.
I've included a photograph of the inventory sheet of the contents of the case, so that you know exactly what you are receiving! With that information, my husband dug in and found the following information in vintage Kelsey catalogs on line. In the late 1800's, the Kelsey Company introduced an improved patent Excelsior Type Case to the letterpress industry, calling it the best type case in the world.
It was advertised as early as 1892, in the company's Printer's Guide and Dictionary. It can also be seen in a Kelsey Company catalogue, published about 1904, and seems to have gone out of use by about 1950. Excelsior Type Cases were distinctly different from contemporary Thompson or California job cases. The Excelsior Type Case featured a double-side-by-side arrangement, intended to locate upper case glyphs (A) adjacent to the lower case (a) counterparts.
A new innovation added 32 small compartments at the top of this type case to hold "odds and ends" like fractions, italics and signs. A lay of the Excelsior case schematic can be seen in the photos which accompany this listing.
This Excelsior Type Case is stocked with what appears to be a double-sized lot of Kelsey-cast, hard foundry type of the ATF (American Type Foundry), nickel alloy variety. The lot contains about 1,844 glyphs, about 160 spacers, and 10 bulk metal strips, 0.027 inches thick (which appear to be lead) for cutting additional spacers. The type is about 0.1375 inches wide, and seems to be about a No.
12 font of a serif style--similar to the computer font "Times New Roman". (See photo of font) The original packing slip will be included!
Age of the Case : The Excelsior Case has a pressed-wood bottom similar to the hardboard product called Masonite , providing a clue to the age of this collectible artifact. Masonite was patented in 1924 and was mass-produced after 1929. Case Construction : The case frame and dividers are constructed of wood, and the bottom sonsists of a sheet of pressed-wood, similar to the hardboard product called Masonite.
Case Dimensions : The overall dimensions are approximately 21-13/16" long, by 16-5/8" wide, by 1-3/8" high 1-7/8" over raised lip on the front of the case. Age of the Type : The type was obtained in conjunction with a very used Kelsey printing press about 1936.The press was so antiquated in 1936 that the rubber rollers had completely disintegrated! Letterpress Type : The letterpress type appears to be foundry quality type of the ATF (American Type Foundry) variety. ATF "hard foundry type" was cast from a nickel alloy. These pieces exhibit the dark, gray appearance which is characteristic of the high quality, hard nickel alloy.
The body of this Kelsey-cast , hard foundry type is further distinguished by 2 "nicks" (spacers have 1 "nick"), which is commonly characteristic of hard foundry type. Font : The Letterpress pieces are about 0.1375 wide, and appear to be about a No. 12 font of a serif style, similar to the computer font Times New Roman. " (See photo) Lower case "e" measures 0.0715" thick, yielding about 14 of these characters per inch.Upper case "R" yields about 9 characters per inch. If you can tell for sure what font this is, either from the measurements or the photos, PLEASE let us know! Notice the "tag" at the top of the capital "A" in the photo. Packing Slip : The original packing slip is included. The back side of the packing slip includes instructions for making a galley proof! Condition : As found, as is, and as photographed.
Appears to be in very good condition for its age. Some individual compartment separators have been lightly labeled. Printing museums, collectors of antique printing memorabilia, letterpress enthusiasts, anyone with an antique Excelsior cabinet with missing drawers, shadow box artists, etc.
Put a piece of plate glass on top, and craft a unique coffee table or wall hanging display!! I also have 2 more cases, with different type (one not listed yet, but I can send details).
We are just west of Milwaukee, WI, close to the I-43 freeway. Thanks for reading all this information!! If you have questions, or want photos of any other type face, or measurements, whatever, please don't hesitate to ask. And if you can add any expertise to this listing, please, PLEASE let us know!! The item "Collectible KELSEY Excelsior Type Case + Large Lot of Hard Alloy Serif Type" is in sale since Sunday, October 11, 2020.This item is in the category "Business & Industrial\Printing & Graphic Arts\Printing & Graphic Essentials\Type, Cuts & Printing Blocks". The seller is "churrolady" and is located in New Berlin, Wisconsin. This item can be shipped to United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech republic, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Estonia, Australia, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Japan, China, Sweden, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, South africa, Thailand, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Bahamas, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Switzerland, Norway, Saudi arabia, Ukraine, United arab emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Croatia, Malaysia, Antigua and barbuda, Aruba, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Saint kitts and nevis, Saint lucia, Montserrat, Turks and caicos islands, Barbados, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Brunei darussalam, Bolivia, Egypt, French guiana, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Iceland, Jersey, Jordan, Cambodia, Cayman islands, Liechtenstein, Sri lanka, Luxembourg, Monaco, Macao, Martinique, Maldives, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Reunion, Uruguay.