Date of Manufacture: prior to 1949
Previous Owners: Boeing, Portland, OR
Restoration Status: Operational
The Gorton 3-U Pantograph was introduced in about 1935 by the George Gorton Machine Company, a business that existed in various forms from 1895 until 1974.
The model 3-U is a light duty, high precision 2-dimension pantograph router, which means it moves freely in the x- and y-axes, but not in the z axis. The 3-U is designed to use a larger-than-finished pattern as a form to create a routed design. In the case of this machine, much of its work would have been to make engraved signs and nameplates (such as the engraved plastic nameplates on office doors).
Pantographs were introduced into the type founding business as a way to speed up the production of steel punches, which were used to create the cavity in the matrix that forms the actual face of the type. Prior to the introduction of the pantograph these punches were cut by hand. While many matrices were indeed made with these punches (most notably for the Linotype), it was quickly discovered that the pantograph was also capable of making matrices directly, without the intermediate step of punchcutting.
We believe that this machine was made prior to 1949, based on research of the obsolete fasteners found during restoration, and the fact that the machine was rebuilt in 1961 by Boeing. In 2012, purchase by the C.C. Stern Type Foundry and restoration of this Gorton Pantograph was funded by an IBM Community Grant.