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Monarch set the price

By Neal McChristy

PathfinderPicture being a retailer of the '40s selling typewriters. You want to make a pricing ticket with store information, so you pull out your Monarch Pathfinder Senso Label to make a professional-looking tag.

Manufactured from 1938-66 when Monarch labelers ruled the retail-labeling business, the Senso Label was used for tags for "hard line" goods such as vases, boxes or other hard objects, said Jack Hood, manager of the Monarch Marking Systems Electronic Repair Center in Miamisburg, Ohio. The device would make a pre-printed label by using a metal slug. Literature from Monarch states the Senso Label could make three-line tags in strips for manual separation "labels and tickets use same track," at 100 impressions per minute. There were 40,890 sold by 1966.

Barbara Jones of Fall City, Wash., has a collector husband with one of the labelers and wrote Yesterday's Office about it. She said the device was eight inches tall by seven inches wide, on a wood base eight inches long by four inches wide and two inches tall.

"The base has a drawer three inches wide by seven inches deep and has approximately 150 dies (I guess that's what they are called) in the drawer that have the numbers and alphabet on them," e-mailed Jones.

DiesThe device has two holders for the dies, and there is a metal plate on the wood base that says: "Manufactured and operated under one or more of the following patents..." listing 12 patent numbers. On the top there is a plate that states "start tickets here." Another plate has the letters "P.5809."

Jones, who lives about 20 miles west of Seattle near Snoqualmie Falls in the statuesque Northwest, said her husband, a retailer now, had purchased the labeler as a wholesaler, "thinking he could use it occasionally in his store." It was moved to another building later, she said, and not "unburied" until they were getting ready for a garage sale. "I've tried everything, looked everywhere and taken it everywhere," Jones said. "No one knows anything."

Monarch Marking, now a subsidiary of Paxar, White Plains, N.Y., has since branched into a wide assortment of labelers, including UPC labelers used in many retail stores.

Editor's Note: Inquiries about the Monarch Pathfinder may be directed to Barbara Jones by e-mail at Also, whether you have antiques or are just a "looker," come visit our forums by clicking here.

Do you have an antique device that was used in the office of yesterday? We've featured such things as typewriters, calculators, computers, slide rules, dictation equipment and telephones. While we are interested in all types of antique office equipment, we are particularly interested in anyone who has an antique answering machine. If so, e-mail Neal McChristy by clicking here. We'll get in touch with you about featuring your antique.

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