William Marley & Co.- Complete Books

Unknown source, but it is repeated in the
Pennsylvania Historical Review, 1886.

One of the most extensive book binderies of this city is that of William Marley & Co. It was established by William Marley in 1865, and at his death in 1892 it became incorporated with a capital of $15,000, the officers being Richard Van Gilder, president, Charles Wagner, vice president, and Henry S. Milligan, secretary and treasurer. The premises at 712 Cherry street comprise two floors, and are fully equipped with the latest improved presses and other machinery, giving constant employment to a large force of skilled craftsmen.

Bookbinding of every sort is artistically executed, from pamphlet and sheet work to the finest Morocco, Russia and velvet bindings, a leading specialty being made of school text, law and medical books, artistic designs being the leading feature of the establishment, and as exceptional facilities are controlled, a large business is done, the house enjoying a high reputation.

Mr. Van Gilder has spent more than twenty years with the house, and the other members of the executive staff have long been identified with its career, all of whom are prominent and successful business men.

From the New England Stationer and Printer, Volume 12, page 4

From Book Production Industry - Volume 6; Volume 46
Wm. Marley, Softco and Ferris Press Stage Merger
The William Marley Co., Softco Bindery, and Ferris Press merged into one firm July 1, 1970, called Complete Books Co., headquartered in Philadelphia, Pa. The William Marley Co. specializes in case binding. Softco is a manufacturer of all types of paper back books, and Ferris Press has printed covers, jackets, and cloth covers by lithography and silk screen.

Tom Bethel, Co-owner Wm. Marley Co., Photo- Dec. 1961

Ed McGilloway, supervisor, Dick Bethel, Co owner (Tom's younger brother), Catherine Kerns, floor boss, Vince O'Donnell, foreman,
Tom Bethel, Co owner, Photo- Dec. 1961

L to R- Jim McCafferty, office, Lost 3 fingers on flat cutter.
Ed Bookbinder, (real name) salesman, Vince O'Donnell, foreman,
Photo- Jan. 1967

Dick Bethel, owner, Dick McLardy, supervisior, Photo- Jan. 1968

Tom Bethel, owner


Christmas time, Photo taken Dec. 1961

Probably a Dexter Quad folder.
The big folders we had 3 of called the Quad.- Warren

Photo taken October 1968

Worker seated at feed board of a large folder machine, Oct. 1972

Whew does that folder look old. He is leaning over the 16 pg. section and doing something to the plate in the 8 pg. section.

Sheridan gathering machine at Complete Books Bindery. (1972)

Muscular demonstration of a worker. (1968)

The perfect binder at Complete Books. That's the boss, Tony Romaniello feeding it.
I was running the Sheridan that sent the book to the binder on a belt. -Warren Humphries

Shown at left is an infeed "belt" to the Rapid Trimmer.
At right- taking out of the Rapid Trimmer

Smyth sewing machines-

Smyth sewing machines for making "Smyth sewn" books. The signatures are sewn together before a cover is attached to the book.

A Smyth HEADOP sewing machine

Smyth HEADOP book sewing machine.

Books on table have covers

Warren Humphries and Ron Otto. (supervisor)

All photos are from Warren Humphries. If anyone sees their photo on this page and wants it removed just let me know.

-Dennis Weaver