Okay, it’s just regular sealing wax; nothing special about it for use by printers. But it has long been used by pressmen to secure gauge pins to the top sheet once they have been positioned to achieve perfect register: a few drops of hot wax dripped on them insures that they’ll stay in that perfect spot. You don’t need this if you use Adjustable Quad Guides or any other kind of pin that clamps to the tympan–and you don’t really need it even if you use the old Megill’s tympan-stabbing pins–but it’s a historically significant printing artifact.
This stuff was in an old newspaper office in western Illinois that we cleared out some years ago. Best guess is that it dates to the 1930s or 40s. We’re selling it by the box, and we have five (5) boxes of it. The photo is of the best box; many of the sticks are cracked or broken and a couple even have a little soot on the tip, proving that they were actually used in that shop. The fifth and final box to sell is one stick short and the price will be duly prorated. JB0410
The label reads:
1 POUND 4 STICKS
TYPE 1 GRADE A RED
DENNISON MANUFACTURING CO. FRAMINGHAM MASS. U.S.A.