Krause Back Rounder 1890
Rounding diminishes the problems of the swell caused by the thickness of the sewing thread. Coupled with backing, rounding will help the book to take and maintain its proper shape. Note the large belt drive at the right end of this machine; originally it was probably run from a centralized power source and only later converted to use with its own electric motor.
The rounder in the photograph did not have a makers’ mark. We are grateful to Jeff Erbes at The Book Factory for sending a photograph of an identical machine with a Krause name plate. It is interesting to note that this machine is still in production.
The great Leipzig press manufacturer Karl Krause (b. 1823) opened a one-man machine shop in 1855. In 1856 Krause introduced a lithographic press; in 1857 he offered his first blocking press; and in 1858 his first guillotine. By 1891 his company was one of the best-known pressmakers in the world, with nearly 500 employees making 3300 machines per year.
See: “From Farm to Factory: A biographical sketch of Karl Krause.” American Bookbinder 1:4 (September 1891), p. 111-112.