Cumberland County officials are baffled as to who left a vintage World War II era Graphotype platemaker machine at the county’s solid waste recycling center this past weekend. The machine was originally used to make military dog tags, address plates and industrial nameplates.
The machine weighs several hundred pounds, and it would not be simple task to merely drop it off.
A customer coming through the recycling center saw the machine, took some pictures of it and posted them on Facebook.
“This should be in the military museum and not the dump. They [staff] said it will be there until tomorrow morning. Someone should contact a county official and save this piece of history for the museum,” Lance LeGraff wrote.
He made the post sharable, and it was shared nearly 100 times. Cumberland County Mayor Allen Foster and other county officials were tagged in the posts.
Foster replied, “I will check into this.”
He contacted Solid Waste Director Conrad Welch.
The machine is currently in storage at the recycling center, where Welch hopes to get the machine running again and then take it to the Cumberland County Military Memorial Museum.
“If we can get it cleaned up and working, they could make dog tags for souvenirs, and it might be a good fundraiser for them,” Welch said.
Foster and Welch both said they would like to know the background about the machine and where it came from.
“I’m just curious how it got there,” Foster said.
Welch said he’d like to get some information about the machine so it could be repaired, restored and made functional.
“It would be great to see it in working condition,” Welch said.
The machine is missing a few parts, including a motor.
The machine is a Graphotype Model 6341 that was manufactured in Cleveland, OH by the Addressograph Multigraph Corporation.
The company filed for bankruptcy in 1982.
If you have any information about the machine, or have experience working with one, contact Welch at the Cumberland County Solid Waste/Recycling Center at 484-9328. The Chronicle will do a follow up story once the machine is taken to the Military Memorial Museum.