Man at Work


by Reg Aston

Man at Work

3.  A trip round the works - continued

A Ruling Machine Left A ruling machine - it printed lines on paper to meet almost any specification for account books, writing pads or whatever.  The male operator is Joe Rolfe.

Right An automatic sewing machine, using tapes and thread. Wilkes also did wire stitching, perfect binding or almost any sort of binding.
 Automatic Sewing Machine
A Guillotine Left A guillotine used to trim paper to size and similar work, either before or after printing.

Right A very important part of Wilkes's business was business stationery.  This often involved producing documents in sets with carbon paper between each set - so that, for example, a sales assistant fills in the top white copy and thereby makes carbon copies on pink, blue and green for different purposes within the company.  Here a multiset machine is set up to produce a six part document (one from each reel) with five carbons in between.  This was in the days before NCR paper. The foreman making adjustments is Percy Cox.
Multiset Machine
Pack to Pack Collator Left This is a pack-to-pack collating machine set up for 5
packs (in the trays on the right) and 4 carbons (on the reels in the centre).  When
a job needed doing and there was no machine on the market for doing it,
then Wilkes manufactured their own.  This is such a machine, built at
Multimatic Engineers, a division of James Wilkes.

Right Printing to produce interfold paper. Continuous interfold enabled documents to be fed continuously into typewriters or other printers. Wilkes were early leaders in this field.
Producing Interfold Paper
Reel Fed Machine Left Continuous stationery presses.  When computers came along they used this sort of continuous feed paper and Wilkes were among the first to provide it - and computer stationery of all sorts. James Wilkes provided sprocket punched continuous stationery to the English Electric Company for use on its £50,000 "Deuce" computer.  The computer was used by Independent Television for their 1959 General Election coverage.

Right A reel fed machine. The operator is Les Venvil.

Continuous Stationery Process
Finishing processes such as manual collating, sewing, punching and so on. Finishing Processes And that finishes the trip round the works.

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