Special Collections Department
R. Hoe & Company
1876 - 1929
Manuscript Collection Number: 469
Accessioned: Purchase, 1989
Extent: 1 linear ft. (ca. 54 items)
Content: Catalogs, ephemera, letterhead, patents, price lists, scrapbook
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: 2002 by Theresa Hessey
Special Collections, University of Delaware Library
Newark, Delaware 19717-5267
Table of Contents
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.
SourcesComparato, 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.
Box -- Folder -- Contents
1 F1 R. Hoe & Co., Printers’ and Binders’ Price-List, 1876 F2 R. Hoe & Co., Fast Newspaper Printing and Folding Machines, 1877 Catalogue F3 R. Hoe & Co.’s Price List March, 1880 F4 R. Hoe & Co.’s Catalogue of Binders’ Presses and Materials, 1881 F5 R. Hoe & Co.’s Catalogue of Machinery and Materials for Electrotyping, 1890 F6 Catalogue of Some of R. Hoe & Co.’s Patent Type and Stereotype Fast Newspaper, Pamphlet and Book Perfecting Printing Machines, 1892 F7 Various Catalogues, 1888 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 F8 The “Observer” Stereotype Perfecting Printing Machine and Folder, 1894 Listing of offices using Hoe products F9 R. Hoe & Co.’s Sextuple Stereotype Perfecting Press and Folder, 1895 Listing of offices using Hoe products F10 R. Hoe & Co., Catalogue of Improved Printing Presses, 1895 F11 R. Hoe & Co., Some Fast Newspaper Printing Machines with Folders, 1895 F12 R. Hoe & Co.’s Catalogue of Printing Materials, 1897 F13 R. Hoe & Co.’s Catalogue of Machinery and Materials for Electrotyping, Stereotyping and Photo-Engraving, 1898 F14 R. Hoe & Co.’s Multi-Color Perfecting Printing Machine and Folder for Newspapers, 1899 F15 R. Hoe & Co.’s Single Large Cylinder, News and Job, and Flat-Bed Newspaper Presses, 1901 F16 Various Catalogues, 1903 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 2 F17 R. Hoe & Co.’s Improved Machinery and Materials for Electrotyping, Stereotyping and Photo-Engraving, 1904 F18 Various Catalogues, 1919-1921 Contains Circular Saws, Bits, Shanks and Saw Tools also Printing Machinery, 1919, Supplement to 1919 Edition Catalogue, Revised List Prices, 1921 F19 What Publisher’s Say, 1925 Includes printings of letters from publishers who use machinery manufactured by R. Hoe & Co. regarding their satisfaction with the products F20 Various Catalogues, 1925 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 F21 Hoe Electrotyping Machinery Accessories and Supplies, 1925 F22 Hoe Universal-Unit Multi-Color and Black Rotary Web Perfecting Presses, 1925 F23 Hoe Photo-Engraving Machinery Accessories and Supplies, 1926 F24 R. Hoe & Co., Inc., Saw Manufacturers, Jobbers’ Special Discounts, 1929 F25 Miscellaneous advertisements and catalogues, n.d. F26 Catálogo de R. Hoe y Compañia, 1873 F27 R. Hoe & Co., Fabricants de machines et matériel de stéréotypie, galvanolastie et photogravure, 1906 F28 Patents 1892-1894 Contains British patents granted to R. Hoe & Co. through intermediaries in the Office of Patents, London spanning the years, 1892-1894 F29 R. Hoe & Co. Ephemera 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 F30 Scrapbook Contains a scrapbook of materials relating to R. Hoe & Co. including sample invoices, form letters, and advertisements 3 F31 William R. Fish Ephemera 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 F32 A. G. Burton’s Sons, Inc. and Butler and Kelly 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 F33 S. J. Clark’s Sons, Inc. Includes a catalogue of printing samples F34 Duplex Printing Press Company Contains a catalogue for the Duplex Flat-Bed Web- Perfecting Newspaper Press F35 Empire Type Foundry Contains a catalogue of type, paper, inks, and metals used in the printing process F36 Klapperich and Company Includes a catalogue of Blue Label Fresco Stencils and Letter Patterns F37 Charles F. Persons, J. W. Ostrander, and Whitlock Cylinder 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 F38 Miller and Richard, Edinburgh An Epitome of Specimens of Magazine and Newspaper Founts F39 Stephenson, Black and Co., London Specimens of Newspaper Founts
Last modified: 01/19/11