of New York, Chicago and London, England.
Manufacturers of Paper Cutters', Bookbinders', Printers', and Paper-Box Makers' Machinery.

If you work in a bindery and tell someone who asks what you do, they will probably reply saying, "Oh, you make books."

A bindery does all printer's finish work, which is mostly brochures and stapled books (called "stitched" in the trade). A larger shop might have a perfect binder to do paperback books. The hardback sewn books are made by few shops.

This hand tightened clamp is called "Perfection." One can see how the hot melt was called by the Sheridan Co., Perfect Binding.

The 1890s saw bindery automatic equipment advances in folding, case making etc... Between 1900 and 1903, the Sheridan Company adapted earlier patents to make an automatic gathering machine. Folding, gathering, sewing, etc... of books was becoming automated whereas before books were mostly made by hand processes.

The books of the 1800s were hardbound, and their covers of decorated cloth. By 1910, the widespread use of decorated cloth on books was largely at its end. The illustrated paper book jacket was catching on.

The method of producing a paperback book is called Perfect Binding. This is a hot melt adhesive binding. The glue and term itself was developed by the Sheridan Bookbinding machinery company, T. W. AND C. B. SHERIDAN, in 1911.

From the book- Bookbinding and Its Auxiliary Branches, 1914

This is a newer machine than the two I have seen which were made of cast iron.

If you have worked for an older printer or trade bindery like Sam Bless & Co. or General Bindery of Philadelphia, Pa., both now out of business, you have seen a machine which probably contained the greatest mass of metal ever to grace a bindery floor...

The Sheridan Gathering Machine

I guess the amount of metal wasn't a problem as T.W. Sheridan of New York owned the Sheridan Iron Works incorporated in 1887, in Champlain, New York., which became the factory for bookmakers' machinery.

Today the term gathering machine seems to have been replaced by the word collator. Or an in-line operation consisting of the collator/ perfect binder/ trimmer is all together refered to as a binder.

Muller Pony perfect binder (below), and a Rapid Trimmer (at right).

The old shops would use a gathering machine such as a Sheridan, a Pony binder, and a Rapid three knife trimmer to manufacture a perfect bound book.

The Sheridan Company also made stitchers and other bindery equipment.

In 1964 HARRIS-INTERTYPE bought the SHERIDAN CO., and continued the Sheridan product lines. Later Harris-Intertype was just called Harris, so you would basically have a Harris-Sheridan binder, stitcher, etc...

Below are three Sheridan gathering machine pics courtesy of Warren (Hawk), who worked at Complete Books, General Bindery, G & H Alliance, and Star Bindery.

Sheridan gathering machine at Complete Books Bindery. (1972)

Muscular demonstration of a worker. (1968)

Louise DiMarco at the Sheridan gathering machine at General Bindery.

This page is the result of webpage searches and some pics off the web, and brochures and manuals and photos that I own. All information is correct to the best of my knowledge.

-Dennis Weaver