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Cheque Writer - G W Todd & Co, Protectograph, USA, circa1916 Object Reg. No: ST 034275

G. W. Todd & Co. "Protectograph". Device for printing cash amounts on cheques in words. Operated with a handle. Made in America circa 1916.

Cheque is rolled through machine by placing it on side platform and turning handle. Words to be printed are selected by index pointer; units are pounds, shilling and pence.
Cheque is rolled through machine by placing it on side platform and turning handle. Words to be printed are selected by index pointer units are pounds, shilling and pence.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from State Library of New South Wales, 1983
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 12 cm (Height), 24 cm (Width), 42 cm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: cheque writers, printing, printing equipment, 42358, 326792, 13561, protectograph modelh, 150185, 960125, protectograph model c no. 63809, 246264, 52087, 520871, 336058, 613914, 41780, protectorgraph model f no., 942015, 623258, 342148, model k, 348493, 321623, model k number 339960, 606560, f410883, 39927, 5001-e, 114926, 16506, 232013, model c number 297173, 617443, 81781, 1700, 234957, 348456 nodel k, 348456 model k, 548728, 3776, 803006, 35220073, 988120, 236483 model h, 242506-modelh, 16899, 16, 899, l60846130, a804-141, 938767, 570425, 570656, c247p1303, 57027, d308r5762, 874365, d308r6047, 179346, 519832, d823016, 996946, 748550, 118445, 332540, 717382, 612906, model 60, d308r5352, 962758, a703300
Themes this item is part of: Information & Communication Collection
Primary Classification: COMMUNICATIONS
Secondary Classification: Printing
Tertiary Classification: printers
Manufacturer: G.W. Todd & Co, Rochester, New York, United States of America, circa 1916


Lisa Posted on 02 Feb 2010 12:26 AM
I have "The Protectograph" manufactured by GW Todd and Company fro Rochester, NY. It is a Model G No 57720. The dollar amount on the wheel goes up to $5000. The patent dates inside stop at 1905. Can you please tell me the approximate year the protectograph might have been made? Thank you. Lisa Miller
Discovery Centre Posted on 06 Feb 2010 12:28 PM
Museum Victoria Comment
Hi Lisa, thankyou for your enquiry. We have contacted the History and Technology Curator who looks after this collection. We have two Protectographs in the collection. The one above (ST 034275) has a list of patents with the latest dated 1913. The serial number is 527157. We made a guess at 1916 as the date of manufacture but we are happy to be corrected. The other Protectograph (ST 026505) has list of patents the last being 1915. The serial number is 549837. Again we do not know the date of manufacture.
Teri Pardini Posted on 01 May 2010 10:35 AM
I have a G.W.Todd and Company Protectograph It says Model G No.67107 I would liked to know how to find out the value. All of the ones I see are Model H. Thank You
Barbara Rodeheaver Posted on 09 May 2010 2:01 PM
I have an early 1900's GW Todd Protectograph Check Writer Model H number 92734 manufactured in Rochester, NY. It has the pop off bottom listing the patent information. How can I found out what it's value is?
Discovery Centre Posted on 10 May 2010 12:20 PM
Museum Victoria Comment
Hi Barbara - Unfortunately Museum Victoria cannot provide valuations of objects. For a list of valuers approved by the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program, see their website at or see and for information on obtaining valuations other objects.
Tom McCrystal Posted on 22 May 2010 2:47 PM
I have a G. W. Todd Protectograph Model K No. 34194. Do you think there are many of the K model still around?
Discovery Centre Posted on 26 May 2010 4:15 PM
Museum Victoria Comment
Hi Tom. You might like to contact the curator of the Early Office Museum According to their website,
in 1910, G. W. Todd & Company claimed that 85,000 Protectographs were in use.
Perry McDonald Posted on 09 Nov 2013 9:08 AM
Where can I get operating instructions for my protectograph model #535423
neil schwaiger Posted on 25 Jan 2014 3:19 PM
I found this Todd personal protectograph check writer, model 3500, the only numbers of the baseplate are 3776. Does anyone have an idea of when it was mad? Thank Neil
Robefrt S. Whitman Posted on 09 Jun 2014 1:17 PM
I was key account sales associate for the Todd Co. of Rochester NY. USA in 1954 through its merger with the Charles Hadley Co of California, and the when the merged companies were bought out by the now defunct Burroughs Graphic Arts Division. The Check writers started out with what was called the NOT OVER machine which printed that phrase and a numbered amount in ink. The LONG TODD look3ed like a baloney and was ink printing using a sliding number plate and crank handle Model 1700 was an ink printer that set the numbers by way of sliders. The 1700 was replaced with the Model 30, which worked the same way, however it was the first ribbon hand operated check writer. This was followed with Keyboard button operated ribbon units such as #33-#70-#60 a wonderful small slide lever machine- #T74- #78 Disburser which wrote the amount, date, and signature. A plastic body small Disburser was added #T274 which was not the quality product the other machines were The smallest TODD Protectograph WAS THE PERSONEL MODLE 1500 which has a dial, lever and ink pad system to produce a imprinted check. There were also Check signers both #94 hand lever operated and the #96 which is electric. I personally have a small collection of these now out of fashion methods to safeguard bank checks.I was the creater of check signing machine reverse plate background corner design. It gave instant notice to the manufacturing plant that the new plate being ordered was to be made in upside down style to facilitate use with bottom designed voucher checks. This plate design avoided the frequent mistakes of error manufacturing a standard orientated plate.
Robert S. Whitman Posted on 09 Jun 2014 1:30 PM
Note my name previously was misspelled. Should read Robert S. Whitman Also...I worked out of 1225 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA sales office.
Ted Lobsenz Posted on 13 Mar 2015 2:24 PM
I have a Protectograph full keyboard, electric, Model T79-9. Can anyone help me to locate what to push or pull to cause the ribbon to reverse?? Thanks. TED
Brian McGrath Posted on 07 Apr 2015 9:48 AM
Hi Ted. I worked as an technician on those units here in the UK for a company called Halsby. They were the largest supplier of the Burroughs/Todd machines outside of the US.

To reverse the ribbon on this unit is not too diffucult. Obviously this units ribbon reverse has failed as it should do this automatically. If you go down the right side of the machine just behind where the keyboard end at the top on the inside of the right hand frame near the top you will see a large thick spring. This spring controls the ribbon reverse. It holds a roller that slips from one semi circular cut out into another and that determines the direction of travel it takes. To move that needs some pressure and the best way is to take a screwdriver and level the spring from one knotch to the other . It may take some pressure but you can use a bar that runs across the top as a fulcrum to lever it across. Its a strong spring so some pressure is needed. Good Luck with that. I have a lot of old protectograph brochures from around the 1930s that were given to me when Burroughs bought Halsby in the UK around 1970. These have photoes of the old Todd factory in Rochester and include some of the machine assembly lines and cheque manufacturing. I also have several Todd cheque writers including a Model H and a personal unit that writes in USD and GBP. The model H is in great condition and still gives a perfect print to this day. It was made in the 1890s.
Steve Wayne Posted on 08 Jul 2015 12:55 AM
I have an Old T79-9 Protectograph CheckWriter machine. It still turns on, but I need more information . When was this manufactured? It does not say any where on the machine.

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