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Historical piece of manufacturing equipment donated to museum

clampcarrier img1BETHLEHEM, PA - The National Museum of Industrial History (NMIH) located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania recently took possession of an unusual but integral piece of C. F. Martin & Company guitarmaking machinery. Used continuously for nearly a century, the Guitar Top and Back Clamp Carrier was the oldest functioning piece of equipment in the factory. It was manufactured in 1916 by the Handy Manufacturing Company, Chicago, Illinois.

The Guitar Top and Back Clamp Carrier is used to align and clamp the two-piece tops and the two- and three-piece back panels of a guitar after the glue is applied. When the guitar top/back is securely clamped, the operator rotates the machine until each station holds a newly glued guitar top/back. By the time the operator has moved the wheel a full rotation, the glue on the first top/back placed in the machine is dry and can be removed. Drying time is approximately twenty-five minutes.

The original machine was replaced by a new semi-automated Clamp Carrier built to our specifications.

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