This is a 1419 MICR (Magnetic Ink Character Recognition) reader / sorter. This would read 2000 bank checks per minute and could be fed continuously by an operator using a clever arrangement of two air operated elevators. It would read checks with staples in them, as long as they were near the top of the check. The read head was protected by a thin strip of foil that was continuously renewed by a set of reels. Checks with paper clips occasionally fed through, also. Once in a while it jammed, stopping instantly. At this speed, jams were pretty dramatic, with small scraps of paper flying all over. It was a big machine.