Answers to the ABM Bookbinding Tools Trivia Contest!

The American Bookbinders Museum was thrilled to participate in the Antiquarian Book Fair in Oakland last weekend. We met so many lovely people, and were excited for the opportunity to talk about the museum and bookbinding with such a wide audience.

Our bookbinding tools trivia contest was a hit both online and in person — a real ice breaker for bookbinders and book lovers alike to discuss our mysterious selection of tools.  We hope the lively discussion will continue through our opening in June  — we could only bring a few small tools to the fair, but there will be many, much larger, pieces of equipment to ponder and discuss in the new museum space!

Mystery object #1 — Paper beating hammer

Mystery object #2!

Mystery object #2 — Screen for sprinkling edges

Mystery object #3!

Mystery object #3 — Band sticks for defining raised cords

Mystery object #4!

Mystery object #4 — Moulds for shaping springback spines, i.e. for ledger books

Mystery object #5!

Mystery object #5 — Alignment gauge for spine labeling

Mystery object #6!

Mystery object #6 — Corner gauge

Mystery object #7!

Mystery object #7 — Round scraper for fore edge scraping in the round

Mystery object #8!

Mystery object(s) #8 — Indexing rolls. Wood for inked index tabs and metal for tooled/gilt.

Mystery object #9!

Mystery object #9 —  Aufschabeblech, or tin for fraying cords

Mystery object #10!

Mystery object #10 — Stabbing machine/hole puncher



  1. I was a bookbinder during World War II and after up untill 1953. I worked in San Diego. I was taught by a dear man by the name of Llyod Becker. He had been the business all his life and taught me everythng he knew. The pictures of your museum bring back many memories. I will try and come see your museum after it reopens. Allen

  2. Thanks for letting us know Allen. We are always interested in the stories of fellow bookbinders. Please let me know when you come up to visit, perhaps you would be available to do a short oral history for the museum archives. -Jae Mauthe

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