This, my friends, is a Price Marker, made by the Monarch Tag Company, circa 1916, given to me by my friend Jerry, weighing in at about 25 lbs. A little tinkering with it reveals how it is supposed to work. You select the type from the wooden drawer, arrange it in the magazine, and decide whether you will be printing on a roll of paper (left side) or on “print-fold tickets” (right side), and insert the magazine in the appropriate spot. Then you crank away, and with each revolution, the type is stamped on an inkpad, pressed onto the tag, the paper is advanced, and the counter clicks forward one number. Supremely cool.
It is difficult to crank in its current condition, so I’ll have to figure out where to put oil and whether there are any obstructions or failures. But it does work, if you apply enough force, so the resistance is trivial. Now – finally! – I will be able to print all the price tags I want!