The Thompson Type Caster, United States, 1908-1967.

The Thompson Type Caster could in many ways be considered a transition machine, sitting between foundry machines like the Barth casters that were used by the American Type Founders Company (ATF), and machines that were intended for casting slugs (Linotype, Intertype and Ludlow) or composed type (Monotype) for printing office use.
The Thompson was invented in 1908 by John S. Thompson. It is a sorts caster, casting multiple types of the same size, letter and style. With attachments and adjustments it is also capable of casting quads, spaces, borders, leads, slugs and rules.
As originally designed, the machine utilized Linotype matrices, but the geometry of the machine is such that it is very versatile. With the proper mat holders and moulds, the Thompson can cast type from virtually any matrix, including foundry martices.
Type sizes ranged from 5–48 point. In 1929, The Monotype Corporation bought the Thompson Machine Company. They continued to build and sell the machine until 1967.
In the day, the Thompson was sold to printers—ATF used the high pressure, high temperature Barth machines to cast type to “foundry” specifications. Today, the Thompson is being used much like the Barth casters once were, and forms the core equipment of several operating foundries.
via Thompson Type Caster | Letterpress Commons.

Dirty Tricksters: Lockier Bastard Driver and Neville Gurr by the Toff.

Bruce Lockier nailed an empty sardine can under Ross Jolly’s chair in the Reading Room. Poor old Ross searched his room for days, but alas could not find where the stink was coming from.
Finally he went to Lockier and pleaded with him to reveal the hiding place.
What a dirty trick to play on poor old Ross
What about poor old Bob Miller. Yep another dirty trick saw Bob driven out to Kent Town by an unknown store driver to sweep up the binding section.
The driver was to come back later and bring Bob back to the Old Guv. Did that Bastard Driver return? No.
Poor old Bob had to catch a bus and carry with him his tools of trade, namely his broom, bucket and spade.
What a dirty trick to leave him stranded at Kent Town.
Bruce Lockier placed an imitation poo on the floor in the dunny of the comp room with wettish dunny paper placed strategically around it and informed the cleaner Angus to deal with it.
Angus was horrified upon viewing it and went directly to the overseer saying that was not his job.
On returning with the overseer the poo had magically disappeared.
What a dirty trick to place on poor old Angus. 
Neville Gurr was so pissed off with David Lascelles being  such a bloody know-all that he waited for him to enter the jobbing room dunny.
Neville then produced the largest fire cracker bomb and gently rolled it under the dunny door towards the feet of David.
He saw it coming and panic stricken kicked it away. The bomb was heard as far away as the Ludlow.
Bob Allen who was in the next cubicle picked three horse racing tips on his way up and back down.
Poor old Ken Davis in the other cubicle came out totally in shock wearing a face of total fear.
In fact, he never entered the dunny for three weeks.
What a dirty trick.


Dirty Tricksters: Bucko, Warren and Riley by The Toff.

Pictured with apologies to Sir Michael Caine from the movie “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.”
At a Jobbing Room Christmas party Jack Wells was in charge of the beer.
We all handed Jack our bottles and he entered them on a ledger. Rex Unsen put forth two bottles into the register.
At our lunch Merv Clark and Ron Evans donated 12 bottles each to the staff. On seeing this tightarse Rex asked Jack for his two bottles back.
John (The Chinaman) Buckby witnessed this and handed Riley two beer bottles recapped and filled with water.
Buckby then told Riley to switch the bottles and bring back the unopened beer bottles.
Poor old Rex took home two bottles of water. Imagine his face opening the bottles on Christmas Day for his guests.
What a dirty trick to play on tightarse Rex.
Warren (Abo) Pietsch would save the previous week’s sports results out of a copy of The News and place them in the latest edition and then ask Raggsy if he could have a quick look at his paper.
On returning the paper to Raggsy he swapped it for his ‘doctored’ up copy.
What a dirty trick. There’s Raggsy reading his paper on the train and blaming The News for stuffing up the sports results.
One wet winter’s morning, Riley the Toff spied Bob Miller ahead riding his push bike to work in the pouring rain.
To avoid a blocked drain Bob rode his bike onto the footpath. The very cruel Riley then edged his Celica into the gutter and deliberately sprayed Bob with a gigantic wall of water.
What a dirty trick to play on poor old Bob.

Dirty Tricksters: Greg, Warren and Mick by The Toff.

Caption: “It’s all True.”- The Toff. With apologies to the late and great Terry Thomas.
At the Old Guv Printing Office there were a lot of dirty tricks played upon honest innocent people by their fellow workmates that delighted those sick bastards.
Take Greg (Sluggo) Novice for instance. At tea break we lined up at the tea urn.
Little did we know that Greg had dropped a cake of Solvol soap into the urn. Needless to say that that dirty trick was not taken too well.
Did Greg stop there? No. Another dirty trick by Greg was to ‘cook’ his saveloys in the urn.
When the tea goers poured out the water from the urn – yep the water was pure red.
Warren (Abo) Pietsch would bring in fresh eggs to sell to a small group of comps.
Imagine the next breakfast as the egg buyers began their breakfast of eggs and bacon. They soon discovered that some, not all, had been hard-boiled.
What a dirty trick.
A smart-arse apprentice Mick Mulcahy prided himself as a morning tea thief.
He would lie in wait as Riley washed his hands for morning tea. On returning to his work frame Riley (The Toff) soon discovered that some of his food was missing. What a dirty trick.
Later that week Riley brought in some cockle cakes for his morning tea. What the dirty little trickster was not aware of was the cakes had been doctored and were mouldy inside.
The dirty little trickster never struck again.

Hansard Staff 1961.

Photo from Left to Right: Rex (Fritzy) Wells, Glyn Paul, Jim Hosking and the one and only Bruce Lockier.
Everyone please note that the compositors in this photograph are wearing a tie with a white shirt. What Bloody Wankers they were then..
Thanks to Russell Wight (Sojar) for the use of this photograph.

Victor, a Person of Interest.

I first met Vic Potticary in 1973 and 44 years later regard him to be one of the single biggest influences of my life.
But what an annoying bastard he could be! When we were working the Hansard shift setting Parliamentary Debates, he would prattle away extolling the virtues of Socialism, Karl Marx, Frederick  Engels and Bakunin (an Anarchist).
The only problem was that Vic was a brilliant Intertype Operator and I was bloody hopeless! Therefore any interruption to my train of thought slowed me down to a crawl.
It put me behind and with the menacing John Buckby lurking around, frankly bothered me immensely. So it was “Fuck Off”, Vic, let me get on with my work. I can’t believe I just said that.
Vic was born in the early 1930’s in Port Pirie. His Dad worked for the South Australian Railways.
In his teens he escaped to Adelaide and took up a Comp. apprenticeship with the only Communist printing company in Adelaide.
He met and married Audrey and they had a son Malcolm. It was then Vic did a very strange thing, he travelled to Angaston in the Barossa to work at the Angaston Leader.
The Leader was a  conservative, “hatched, matched and dispatched” country newspaper run by the Robinson family. The old man Robby was a strange fellow who took a bit of a shine to our Vic.
So much so, that when the local copper came to investigate Vic as a “possible foreign spy” that the old man Robby put in a good word for Victor.
But, not before “bucketing” Vic for his non-attendence at church on Sundays.
img_4444_zpsab12e4ba-scaled1000Vic with good friend and comrade Ursula.
Back to Adelaide and a whole heap of Printers and then to the Old Guv in 1973 (twice).
Vic has been a passionate advocate for the Rights of Workers and on May Day 2011 was awarded the Golden Spanner by the May Day Collective for his services to the Trade Union Movement.
I was privileged to make that presentation to my friend and comrade!