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Special Collections: Guide to the Maine Typothetae Records

Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves
December 2009

Collection title: Maine Typothetae Records
Collection number: MS 597
Dates of collection: 1920-1933 (inclusive); 1920-1926 (bulk)
Size of collection: 3 boxes
Restrictions on access and use: Kept in off-site storage facility. One week's notice required for retrieval


Maine Typothetae, located in Portland, Maine, was a trade association of about 40 commercial printing concerns in the state of Maine. Edward A. Harris served as executive secretary of the association. The name Typothetae comes from the Greek words meaning type-setters.

Maine Typothetae was affiliated with the United Typothetae of America, a national organization of master printers and print shop owners. Founded in Chicago in 1887 partly in response to the eight-hour day movement begun by print shop workers, United Typothetae provided a place for owners to discuss other issues relating to their employees such as apprenticeship, wage scales, open shop versus union shop, etc. United Typothetae also served as a clearinghouse for information on production, technical education, record-keeping and distribution and provided a standard program of activities from which each local organization could choose. It established a standard cost system for the printing industry and developed the Cost Form 9-H (Summary of Department Costs) to be used by members. Information from these forms was used to compile composite statements to furnish printers a guide to how closely their own costs were following the average in similar-sized plants around the country. The Maine Typothetae used forms from the United Typothetae and also maintained a credit and collection bureau for its members.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains the records of the Maine Typothetae, Portland, Maine, an organization composed of about 40 printing companies in the state of Maine.

The collection is arranged in three series: Series I. Correspondence, 1920-1926; Series II. Administrative subject files; and Series III. Publications.

Series I. Correspondence contains both incoming and outgoing correspondence of Edward A. Harris, executive secretary of the organization. In addition to letters concerning activities of the organization, the correspondence files also contain estimate sheets and samples of various printing jobs for clients, statistics and payroll information.

Series II. Administrative Subject Files is arranged alphabetically by subject and includes member and customer lists, payroll records for various member companies, communications from United Typothetae of America, and various statistical information gathered by the Maine Typothetae. Summaries of department costs primarily for 1921 are included for firms such as Berry Paper Company, Haswell Press, Payne’s Print Shop and Scruton Bros. of Lewiston, Maine; as well as Bryson & Welch; Carr & Elliott, Casco Printing Company, Irish & Henly, Kennebec Journal (Augusta), Merrill & Webber Co. and Chas. Nash & Son.

Series III. Publications contains newsletters and other publications produced between 1923-1926 by various other Typothetae organizations.

Contents of Boxes

Series I: Correspondence

Box 1


1-16 Correspondence, 1920-1924

Box 2

1-13 Correspondence, 1924-1926, undated

Series II: Administrative subject files

14 Administrative information

15 Articles, news clippings, etc.

16 Company brochures for machinery, etc.

17 Course outlines and notes

Box 3

1 Floor plans

2 History and facts relating to the retail (long) price list

3 Member and customer lists

4-5 Monthly payroll records, 1924-1925

6-9 Monthly payroll records, 9-H sheet information, 1923, 1925-1926, undated

10 Northeast Softwood Division: Weighted average costs, 1933

11-12 Notices of quotations, 1924

13 Printing jobs, estimates, sample documents

14 Speeches: drafts, etc.

15 Summary of department costs for month, 1920, 1921

16 United Typothetae of America

Series III: Publications

17 Typothetae Average Production Records. United Typothetae of America, 1924

18 Ben Franklin Witness. Franklin-Typothetae of Cincinnati, 1926

19 The Business Printer. Franklin Printers Service, 1923.

20 Employing Printers Association of America Bulletin, 1923-1926 (with gaps)

21 Exchange Bulletin, 1923-1925

22 Form 9-H. Typothetae of Philadelphia, 1925-1926

23 The Imprint of the New York Employing Printers Association, 1924-1926

24 The Printcrafters. Southeastern School of Printing, Nashville, Tenn., 1925

25 The Printing Instructor. Department of Education, United Typothetae of America, 1923- 1924

26 Typos: A Small Publication Devoted to Big Things. Typothetae-Franklin Association of Detroit, 1922-1924

27 The Weekly Bulletin. Southeastern Master Printers Federation and School of Printing, 1925-1926

28 Western Ontario Typothetae Bulletin. Hamilton, Ontario, 1925-1926

29 Miscellaneous publications, 1924-1926


Finding Aids for selected manuscript collections in the Special Collections Department at Fogler Library are accessible online in URSUS, in a browsable Guide to Manuscript Collections. Please contact Special Collections at or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

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Special Collections Staff: | Revised: 03/18/2015
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