House & Garden   

 

 

The Perfect Screw Holder:

The Case of the
California Job Case

Back in junior high school, in one of the vocational classes that you could take, alongside woodshop, I forget the name of the class, but everyone had a California Job Case -- a big wooden box about 2 feet by 3 feet by 8 inches deep, filled with compartments.

And in each compartment there was type -- the metal type pieces -- for each letter of the alphabet and numbers too.

And the order of the compartments was similar to the typewriter, so that often-used letters such as "e" were in a compartment in the middle of the case. And so as you put type together in a block for printing, you'd pull the metal type pieces out of the California Job Case.

It was mandatory in the 1970's to teach how to create a print block by putting pieces of type together -- in case you ever got a job in the print field you'd be prepared.

In the 1990's, before eBay, I longed for a California Job Case to use as a screw holder. Nowaday's you can find one on eBay for 25 bucks.

Entire Letterpress shown here (at Print Shop in historic Richmondtown on Staten Island) includes California Job Cases.