At the end of all recent projects, the black bag, the mini stationary collection and the perfect festival bag I decided I needed to spend some time with my newest addition to my leather tool collect ‘The Kingsley Hot Stamping Machine’! You might ask yourselves by now, why are you so happy with a crazy old machine. Well, let’s dig into the history a little bit.
It’s not that often in this digital era that you are searching for a product made between the 1932 – 1970’s by the company “Kingsley Gold Stamping Machine Co., 1606 Cahuenga Hollywood, Calif”. But they are a little like the old steam trains… they are so well engineered even though the time has passed they might still work. Although after some research, I kind of gave up my hopes because as a broke student it is practically impossible to find an affordable and in working condition Kingsley Hot Stamping Machine. Most of these machines are sold on eBay since the company doesn’t make them anymore. Although to get the machines, often sold in the USA, to Europe would already cost me a fortune on the shipping costs. So maybe once I had a full-time job I would have bought one.
But at a day, a few weeks ago I received an email from a friendly lady that she had one catching dust with six extra letterboxes. Can you believe it? I had posted a request for a hot stamping machine on a forum with as an example a Kingsley machine. I had never thought that there would be one in the Netherlands… and for sale. The lady wanted to give the machine another chance at a new owner and agreed to sell it to me. She was not sure if it still worked and it probably needed some love and care.
Where did it come from?
I have asked her about the history of the machine and its owners. I am always a little curious how it got to the Netherlands. In this case, she had bought the machine about 15 years ago from a man who had used it for many years. Although how long exactly, she didn’t know. When you don’t know the full history of the products my imagination starts to run wild. Since all the parts are original and in great condition I can only imagine that the first owner got it from an Amerian directly. Maybe it came with the second world war to Europe or the owner was a well-travelled man. We will never find out. But for now, I am the proud owner of an original about 70 years old American hot stamping machine!
Please let it work!
When I picked the machine up I didn’t know it was such a small machine. I have seen it on Instagram and on eBay but in real life, it was just a so elegant machine and perfect for a small workplace like mine! But the million dollar question was, does it still work? A little anxiously, I plugged it in the socket and all I had to do was turn up the heat. UNBELIEVABLE, in no time it headed up and I was able to make my first embossing.
Try, try and try
Even though there is also a description inside the boxes how to set the letters it did take some time to figure out how the machine works. After a few times picking up all those small letters, which fall out easily if you don’t fill the letter-setter properly, I succeed to print. There was only one problem… the thermometer is missing. So I don’t know how hot the machine is, while I need a temperature of about 150 degrees celsius to print the gold foil I had purchased online. Until I find a new thermometer it will be trial and error…
Protect the Kingsley Machine
Since it is a real oldy I saw a little rust here and there. To stop the rust process I probably needed to cover it with a fresh layer of anti-rust paint. Overall, I hesitate to paint over an original layer but if I want to use it for many and many years I have to protect it. So here I go, a little before and after photo, isn’t it a beauty!
With this Kingsley hot foil stamping machine, there are so much more new possibilities. For example monogramming, making my own business cards but also adding my own logo in gold and silver! Have you ever heard of a Kingsley Machine before and what do you think of it? Love to hear about your experiences! And also an interesting question… what should I print first?