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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Heavy Metal: 1928

Heavy Metal: 1928

Philadelphia circa 1928. The Atwater Kent factory, which made radios and auto ignition parts. National Photo Company glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Holy Cow!

Back in 2012, I was working in an electronics factory that had a bunch of those presses still in use. One of the big ergonomic challenges was to make sure operators weren't on them long enough to get overuse injuries. A cool thing about this design is that most people won't leave fingers under the press when their other arm is working the press, so you don't need a light curtain like you do with a hydraulic or motor activated press.

Arbor Presses

In 1936, when Atwater Kent closed his company, a list of "surplus" equipment was issued. The entire plant contents were sold. Listed were 200 of the Greenerd #3 Arbor presses! The big presses behind the man were, I believe, Southwark 3250 psi hydraulic presses with steam platens for Bakelite molding (there were 23 of these). The box above may have been a Yarnell Waring dual pressure automatic operating valve, which was advertised as being supplied with the presses. Note the indicator through the window and two notes, probably for the two pressure settings. By the way, the Greenerd web site is interesting (at least to a machine freak like me). Of interest: 20,000 feet of leather drive belting was also sold.


The unlocked box may contain the pressure regulating control for the large press in front of the worker. The black cylinder just below the box may be the regulator itself. The box end is clear so the operator can verify the setting; there are some notes pasted in the window. The lockbox would prevent anyone but the shopmaster from setting the pressure. Hmmmm, I need one of those to keep my kids from playing with the thermostat!

Give us a call at Greenerd

Here at Greenerd we are still making the same arbor press we made 125 years ago (only up to 7 tons though, we switched the heavier tonnage presses to hydraulic). The #3 is still the best seller. The parts that fit that press are made to the same size specs today.

Any questions, please call me 1-800-877-9110 Ext. 248.


Anybody know what the locked box (in this case unlocked) is on top of the press is?

Hey I've seen that...

We have a Greenerd tabletop arbor press identical to that sitting on a workbench next to the lathe at work. I never suspected it might be 80 years old...

No need to wrap him up.

Of course there is no need to "wrap him up". Chances are he is already boxed!

Yes please

I'll take one of him. No need to wrap it up.

Greenerd arbor press

It's somehow comforting to know that there are businesses still making similar products after all these years:

Anybody recognize the part that they are stamping out here. It looks like there's one of them there on the work surface. Part of a coil or magneto maybe?

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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