R. Hoe & Company collection
Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Born in England in 1784, Robert Hoe studied carpentry before immigrating to the United States in 1803. Upon arrival, Hoe met Matthew Smith and together they formed Smith, Hoe & Company in 1805 in New York City, specializing in the manufacture of wooden hand presses. Due to the nature of the materials used, Smith and Hoe decided to incorporate saw-making into their business. Following the death of Smith, Hoe took over the company and changed its name to R. Hoe & Company in 1822. He continued to manufacture printing presses and along with his sons made numerous improvements upon existing machinery. In 1827, Hoe bought and improved Samuel Rust's patent for a wrought iron framed press and began manufacturing it as the "Washington" press. After his death in 1833, his sons Richard and Robert overtook daily operation of the company and are credited with introducing various improvements and obtaining patents for these innovations. Consequently, R. Hoe & Company firmly established its products as superior to those of European design. Notable advances made by R. Hoe & Company included a mechanical sheet delivery system for fast cylinder presses, the rotary printing press, and the first type revolving presses. The work of R. Hoe & Company helped facilitate the rapid and cheap production of newspapers.
In 1886, after the deaths of his father and his uncle, Robert Hoe III assumed control of the company. In the years following, he became better known for book collecting than for manufacturing. After his death in 1909, his son, Robert Hoe IV gained control but resigned by 1924. In that year the company was incorporated and a board of directors was announced. Robert Kelly was named president and the Hoe family no longer ran the company. During World War II, the company began to manufacture parts for weapons. After the war, however, the price of Hoe stock dropped and by 1969 the company was forced to claim bankruptcy. Throughout the 1970s, the Hoe factory was dismantled while the board focused on revitalizing the saw-making aspect of the company. In 1984, Pacific Saw and Knife Company purchased R. Hoe & Company and formed Pacific/Hoe Saw and Knife Company. It is still in operation today.
Comparato, Frank E. Chronicles of genius and folly : R. Hoe & Company and the printing press as a service to democracy. Culver City, Ca. : Labyrinthos, c1979.Additional information derived from the collection.
The R. Hoe & Company Collection consists of one linear foot of material spanning the dates 1876 to 1929. During this period, the company main offices were located in the block 504 to 520 Grand Street in New York City. The collection includes catalogs for various pieces of printing machinery, samples of company letterhead, price lists for materials produced by R. Hoe & Company, printed collections of publisher opinions regarding the quality and efficiency of Hoe products, British patents extended to R. Hoe & Company for manufacture in London, assorted printed ephemera of R. Hoe & Company, and ephemera related to William R. Fish, a civil engineer who patented various improvements in the field of printing technology.
Boxes 1-2: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes
Box 3: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes (1 inch)
Removals: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (20 inches)
Processed by Theresa Hessey, 2002. Encoded by Jaime Margalotti, November 2019.
- Printing machinery and supplies--Catalogs--19th century
- Printing machinery and supplies--Catalogs--20th century
- Printing presses
- Printing machinery and supplies--History--19th century
- Printing machinery and supplies--History--20th century
- Saw industry
- Printing machinery and supplies--Patents
- University of Delaware Library Special Collections
- Finding Aid Author
- University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
- Finding Aid Date
- 2019 November
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library, https://library.udel.edu/static/purl.php?askspec
Contains four catalogues bound together; R. Hoe and Co.'s Catalogue of Printing Presses, 1891, R. Hoe & Co.'s Catalogue of Printing Materials, 1888, R. Hoe & Co.'s Catalogue of Machinery and Materials for Electrotyping, 1890, and R. Hoe & Co.'s Catalogue of Machinery and Materials for Stereotyping, 1891
Contains Improved Quadruple, Sextuple and Color Combination Newspaper Perfecting Presses, 1903, Some New Hoe Fast Speed Newspaper Presses, 1903, R. Hoe & Co.'s Patented Improved Two-Roll Three-Roll and Four-Roll Two-Plate Wide also Double Supplement Newspaper Perfecting Presses, 1903
Contains Circular Saws, Bits, Shanks and Saw Tools also Printing Machinery, 1919, Supplement to 1919 Edition Catalogue, Revised List Prices, 1921
Includes printings of letters from publishers who use machinery manufactured by R. Hoe & Co. regarding their satisfaction with the products
Contains Hoe Rotary Two-Color Lithographing Press with Suction Feed and Pile Delivery, Style F-2-D, 1925, Hoe Rotary Two-Color Offset Lithographing Press with Suction Feed and Pile Delivery, Style F 2-O, 1925
Contains British patents granted to R. Hoe & Co. through intermediaries in the Office of Patents, London spanning the years, 1892-1894
Includes two manufacturer's labels, "Our Reputation, Our Declaration of Principles" distributed to employees, a code book for telegraphic cables, a print of a drawing of the Hoe Manufactory, an unattached back cover of a catalogue, and a company folder
Contains a scrapbook of materials relating to R. Hoe & Co. including sample invoices, form letters, and advertisements
Includes various notes, chemical formulations, invoices, and correspondence of William R. Fish, a civil engineer. Also included is Fish's patent for improvements in the production of transfer sheets for lithographic and other printing processes and a legal agreement allowing Mary Miner to practice, use, and vend Fish's inventions
Contains a Printers and Book Binders Machinery catalogue for A. G. Burton's Sons, Inc. and a business card for Butler and Kelly, Engravers and Printers
Includes a catalogue of printing samples
Contains a catalogue for the Duplex Flat-Bed Web-Perfecting Newspaper Press
Contains a catalogue of type, paper, inks, and metals used in the printing process
Includes a catalogue of Blue Label Fresco Stencils and Letter Patterns
Contains a business card for Charles F. Persons, a steam printing establishment, an advertisement for a combined saw and trimmer manufactured by J. W. Ostrander, and a print of a Whitlock Cylinder
An Epitome of Specimens of Magazine and Newspaper Founts
Specimens of Newspaper Founts