Tessmer Book Bindery


      The Shop is located on the south end of Mount Clemens at 278 South Bound
Gratiot. The building was built in 1929. Eighty five years in business started by
my Dad and Grandfather. Now my daughter, Colleen, and I do the bookbinding. I
am delighted Colleen has joined the Bindery. She has inherited the book binding
gene and does some beautiful work.


      The equipment in the shop is the same as it was when it opened but since
basic book binding has not changed much in several hundred years, the equipment
is still functional. One of our prize possessions is our W. F. ELLIS Roller Backer.
 It has a name plate on it reading PATENTED FEB 15 1861. (Pictured below)
Through an ingenious mechanism of clamps, rollers, pedals and adjustments this
machine can put a nice round in any book that is to be bound. The Kwik Print
stamping machine,  The Oswego Cutter, cutting board and presses are all vintage
 equipment and in working order.


      We do mainly traditional bookbinding and repairs of books.


Crain’s Business did a nice article By Sherri Welch, Vol. 30, No. 46
NOVEMBER 17 – 23, 2014. Colleen and I did a Bible for her Mother and she was fascinated
with the old bindery and its history. Here is the pdf of her article:



      Also Tessmer Book Bindery has been involved in a project to preserve
historic artifacts at the Detroit Athletic Club. Their magazines go back to the
founding of the DAC in 1915. The articles, pictures and ads give us a wonderful
look into life through the decades as well as many historical facts. The magazines
were bound into yearly volumes. The original bindings were done by a
company that my grandfather and father worked at in the 1920’s. Although the
books were beautifully bound they have deteriorated over the years. To preserve
these books, DAC is working with Xpress Solutions Inc. to scan them for a digital
record. They also want to preserve the original documents.


     Tessmer Book Bindery unbinds the original volume into individual sheets and
gives it to Xpress for scanning and indexing. After scanning, Tessmer Book
Bindery rebinds the sheets back into the original volume. We then determine if
the original case is repairable. If so, we restore the case and use that. If the
original case is beyond repair we make a new one that is similar to the original.
The picture of the book on the home page is a sample of the new case. It has
leather corners and a leather spine with gold trim as did the original. For a more
detailed description of the project please refer to the DAC NEWS July 2009
article “Technology helps preserve historic artifacts”.


This is an excerpt from that article:



Please call or email us for an appointment:

586 468-2481





Jim Tessmer and Colleen Dickey




Some Pictures of our equipment:


W. F. Ellis Roller Backer:



Oswego Cutter:


Kwik Print Gold Stamper: