Monday, April 13, 2009

Printing Press

This is a picture from around 1910, showing a boy using one of the old style coffee grinders. The old style general stores would buy coffee beans in bulk, and then would have a big crank grinder like this one in the store to grind the coffee at the time of purchase. My dad had an old style general store in Ft. Davis, Texas in the 1940's and he had a coffee grinder like this. We still have it, and it really is a beautiful piece of equipment.

Hope you all had a nice Easter. I really enjoy the Easter holiday, and this morning, well, it is back to work.

On the topic of this week's poll question . . . I am really surprised more of you have never dreamed of getting a monkey. My daughter hounded me for 10 years wanting a pet monkey, but she has finally outgrown that. As I mentioned before, my grandfather had two pet monkeys that someone gave him, and they really are a lot of work.


  1. Are you sure that that's a coffee mill? The center gears don't look like they're built for coffee. Also, the wall behind him looks like a blackboard with an eraser. If this were a mystery person day, I'd guess that this is a student at a technical school demonstrating machine skills.

  2. Nate,
    On closer inspection, you might be correct. The wheel has the exact size and shape of the coffee grinder, but there is complexity behind the wheel you would not expect in a coffee mill.

    Now looking at it, I wonder if it is a simple printing press . . . looks as if he might be loading a piece of paper into it.

  3. I believe that it looks like this young man is using an early vintage letter press. Why would there be a coffee grinder in what looks very much like a class room?

  4. Monkeys are mischievous, hard work
    and dangerous. Would you leave a
    small child in a room alone with
    a monkey? Not a good idea.

    As are closest relatives we should
    leave them alone, in the wild where
    they belong.

    What is it in humans that they must
    make pets of almost every living
    creature on the planet?

    I also thought the machine might
    be a printing press, with black-
    board in the background.

  5. You have one of the most wonderful collections of old photographs I have ever seen. Thank you for sharing them with us.
    I am lucky to have in my collection a group of negatives and slides that my grandfather shot from the late 30's and 40's. I have used them in the process of photogravure.

    Again , Thanks for sharing your photos.

  6. Upon close inspection, it does appear to be a printing press. But it looked like a coffee grinder to me, too.

    I'm not sure why anyone would want a monkey, they are dangerous and smelly.

    By now, all of you must have read the terrible story in the national news about the woman in Stamford, Connecticut who had her face and hands eaten off by a crazed chimp in January. She is now blind and maimed for the rest of her life.

    What's even sicker, is that the elderly widow who owned the chimp ("Travis"), dressed him clothes, ate with him, toilet-trained him, slept with him and BATHED WITH HIM.

    UGH!!!! One article said that she used to sit and bed and have him comb her hair. Disgusting. And now she's being sued for millions.

    And then a few years ago, there was a man in California (his name is St. James Davis) who had HIS face and other crucial body parts (i won't say where) eaten off by crazed chimps.

    He was visiting HIS chimp (Moe)at an animal sanctuary, and bringing him a "birthday cake." He and his wife had raised a chimp as a child, but it was taken away from them after it bit off someone's fingers.

    So they were visiting Moe when they were attacked by other chimps that had managed to unlock their cage. His wife lost some of her fingers, but Mr. Davis was horribly maimed. How awful.

    But they also showed photos of this guy and his wife, with the chimp in pajamas having breakfast in bed between them.

    You can look this up if you don't believe me.

    What's wrong with these people. Just get a cat.

    Look it up if you don't believe me.

  7. Smart Girl, you make good points but I would suggest a dog makes a better pet because he is always glad to see you and his one desire in life is to be with you and do whatever he can to make you happy. You just can't say that about any cat I have ever come across. Usually, they just barely tolerate your presence in his world.

    Hope everyone had a great Easter and spent some time thinking about what it means for all of us.

  8. A key factor into the quality of any pet is temperament. I have seen monkeys/ baboons in the wild and ill-tempered comes to mind. Perhaps owners think they are getting a quasi-person.

  9. "I'm not sure why anyone would want a monkey, they are dangerous and smelly."

    SmartGirl 1953: Not sure why, but this is the funniest thing I have read all day. Maybe because I used to tell my daughter that she reminded me of a monkey, and some days she can be extremely dangerous and smelly. Thanks for the laugh.

  10. To "Coureous"

    I'm glad you appreciated my comments. I've always been afraid of monkeys, they used to scare me at the zoo when I was little.

    Chimps are known to become extremely hostile once they reach maturity. They're only cuddly when they're babies.

    And . . .although I certainly don't want to see anyone injured, why any of these people would sleep and bathe with chimps is beyond me. Sick, sick, sick.

  11. Al:

    I love dogs, too. But, persnally, they are too much work for me. You can't leave them alone for long; you have to take them out and clean up after them (we live in a suburb); they smell when they're wet, etc. etc.

    Believe it or not, there ARE some breeds of cats that are very friendly and people-oriented. I happen to own one - an Abyssinian.

    Abys are descendants of the cats that the ancient egyptions used to worship and bury with their dead. My cat looks just like those ancient Egyptian statues that you see in the hieroglphyics and in the tombs. She has a rich red coat, those big ears and sort of a a flat profile.

    Abyssinians are called the "red dogs" of the cat world, because they are so interactive. My cat follows me around constantly, knows her name, comes when she's called, plays fetch, and can sit and beg. She sleeps with us every night, and cries when we leave her alone. She tries to interfere with everything I do.

    Actually, she's so attached to us, that she's sort of a pest, she's never more than two or three feet away from someone and always underfoot.

    I've encountered many "general" cats that are very friendly, too. It's just like people - each one has a different personality.

    I think the best way to sum up the difference is that dogs see themselves as your servant, but a cat sees herself as your EQUAL. It's more of a partnership.

    For example, when you play fetch with a dog, he brings the ball back because he wants to please you. When I play fetch with my cat, she brings the ball back, because she needs me to throw it FOR HER.

    But she's a nice companion.

  12. Dan's observation was my first impression too. It looks like the old Heidleburg Letter Presses you see in print shops. Most of them still have at least one of these dinosaurs around to do numbering or scoring on. There's a lot more printers around with all of their fingers these days since these aren't used for daily printing anymore...

  13. that's a Chandler and Price 9 x 12.
    it's a hand fed platen press. that's what i learned to print on when i started in the printing trade forty years ago, imprinting funeral cards, business cards and raffle tickets.