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Have You Ever Seen One Of These?

Discussion in 'Software, Computers, CMC's Techie Stuff' started by Sonny, Sep 25, 2014.

  1. Sonny

    Sonny CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Last weekend I attended the Mayne Framing Supply 30th anniversary open house. In the lobby was an old mat cutter from 1896 that Larry Mayne found at an old office supply company. It was nailed to a counter and the owner claimed it still cut great mats which Larry doubted. I have never seen a mat cutter of this age and thought that cut mats before the days of C&H, Logan etc. were cut by hand. I guess the need to cut mats commercially in volume is older than I thought.

    Please enjoy and comment.

    Attached Files:

    Dave likes this.
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  2. cjmst3k

    cjmst3k SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    pretty cool!
  3. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Although cruder, it looks to work on the same principle as modern mat cutters: hold a knife or blade at a consistent angle and draw it along a bar.
    In between this and the ones you mentioned was (among others, I'm sure) KEETON, which was a very nice cutter and still prized many many framers today.
    :cool: Rick
  4. FramerCat

    FramerCat SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Thanks for sharing. That's really cool.

  5. exebache

    exebache True Grumbler

    I love seeing old machines and equipment,
  6. wvframer

    wvframer MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I have looked at that thing at least once a week for about 20 years. I never thought in all that time to take a picture and share it. I guess I never realized how unique it really is. Thanks for taking and posting the pictures.
  7. alaskanframer

    alaskanframer CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Now that is awesome, thanks for sharing. I would love to see it in first hand.
  8. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    VERY cool!

    Finally, a piece of equipment older than Bill.
  9. Sonny

    Sonny CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I really could not believe I was looking at a mat cutter from 1896 when I say it sitting there. I thought the industry would have been so small that all mats would have been cut with a hand held blade. Does anyone know anything about antique mat cutters or the history of framing in North America? The fact that a single purpose mat cutter exists from 1896 tells me there must have been frame shops or the like. I wonder when the first frame shop opened. I know that most mat companies were sign board producers that got into mats after Mr. Eastman mass marketed the Brownie camera at the turn of the last century. Photos became the rage and the need to display them gave rise to the photo mount business. In fact we started in the world as Turner Brothers doing sign boards for department stores and photomounts for photographers in 1902.
  10. wvframer

    wvframer MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    D.E. Abbott & Co. was already well established in Huntington in 1881, and Mr. Abbott served on a number of boards so it is well documented. He provided production framing & printed art prints he sold nationwide, as well as custom framing.

    This was a thriving commercial center in those days, and presumably there were others, though I don't immediately find documentation to support the premise.

    D.E.Abbott & Co. survived until after the turn of the last century, about 2005, when the last descendant retired in her 80's. For the past 60-70 years it was only a local custom framing shop and had vacated the factory facility back in the 1970's. They moved into a small storefront a block away in a thriving antique district.

    The building still stands with it painted sign prominently displayed on the side of the building. It is now a part of a classic car museum.

    Probably more than you wanted to know, but the short answer to the question is yes, there were production matcutters in the 1890's.
  11. dectrola

    dectrola CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Cast iron rail, imprinted measures and manufacturers name. Not a handmade "one off". Perhaps the only one to survive.
    Some great history here, thanks for preserving it and sharing.
  12. Cornered One

    Cornered One CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Did D.E. Abbott have anything to do with the production of this mat cutter or were they framers only?
  13. wvframer

    wvframer MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    No, I do not think they produced it. In my "spare" time, I keep looking for who might have been manufacturing those things. It is something buried deep in some local history library. I do know that this one was in the back of a paint and hardware store when Larry acquired it.
  14. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Sounds like a job for PBS's History Detectives.
    :popc: Rick
  15. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    When I worked for Kramer the Framer back in the sixties and seventies, he had a "modern" Keeton Kutter for straight line cuts, but was using a Springfield oval machine that had a brass plate with the date 1908 or 1909 on it.
  16. Josh Keck

    Josh Keck Grumbler in Training

    I stare at this mat cutter everyday. I always thought it was "just neat" until I saw this thread. To mimic Greg's comment, I guess it really is unique. We have some other old equipment here in the warehouse but one that stands out is this old oval cutter.

    20190623_131950.jpg 20190623_131902.jpg 20190623_131855.jpg
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  17. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I had an oval cutter just like that but in full working order. After storing it for 15 years I finally gave it to Habitat for Humanity along with a full truck of items. Where it ended up I know not.
  18. Sonny

    Sonny CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    It looks exactly like the Oval Master I used for years. I am sure they copied the design from this one.
  19. Al B

    Al B CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    I have the blades for this early chopper - I took them off when I moved it for safety reasons. It still does an excellent job.

    Attached Files:

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