The Benton Pantographs

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Linn Boyd Benton will be remembered primarily for his vertical-format pantograph engraving machine for type-making. This was not a single design, however, but a series of machines in at least two major technical revisions developed for three different type-making purposes (patrix engraving, punch engraving, and matrix engraving). In addition, Benton designed quite different pantographs for reproducing drawings, for cutting the wax stage of his working patterns, and for engraving large matrices.

The best modern sources for information on Benton's pantographs are:

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Introduction

[NOT DONE]

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Benton's 1899/1905 Optomechanical Pantograph

In 1899 Benton filed a patent for a remarkable horizontal-format pantograph (US 790,172, issued 1905-05-16). This machine used a most unusual combination of a movable pattern with a fixed optical tracer. It contained provisions for the expanding and condensing of designs, the slanting of designs, and the use of shaped tracers (optical, at that) to both compensate for distortions in expansion/condensation and serve as design tools themselves. This machine may be (or may not be) the one Rehak calls the "Benton Delineator." It has been lost; to the best of my knowledge the only items of information that survive are the patent and a single photograph of a closely related machine in a 1909 American Machinist article.

Since so little survives concerning this machine, it is best to keep it all in one place. It is discussed in ../../ Typefoundry & Press -> Making Printing Matrices & Types -> Making Matrices -> Specific Pantographs in Detail -> ATF's Design Pantograph.

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Pantographs for Wax Plate Patterns

By 1905 or so ATF was employing a wax-plate and electroforming method of making working patterns. In W. J. Kaup's 1909 article "Modern Automatic Type Making Methods" in The American Machinist, Vol. 32 (December 16, 1909), pp. 1042-1046, this process is described and a pantograph for "Delineating on Wax Plate" is illustrated. It is also illustrated in the promotional material at the beginning of ATF's 1912 American Specimen Book of Type Styles. It is a relatively conventional machine which in many ways resembles an ordinary drafting office pantograph of the period. I have discovered no other information about this machine; it does not seem to have been patented by Benton (and it isn't clear what there would have been to patent about it).

Since so little survives concerning this machine, it is best to keep it all in one place. It is discussed in ../../ Typefoundry & Press -> Making Printing Matrices & Types -> Making Matrices -> Specific Pantographs in Detail -> ATF's Wax Plate Pantograph.

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The Vertical Pantographs

These are the machines for which Benton is best known: a series of machines spanning at least two major engineering revisions which were employed for three distinctly different purposes (patrices, punches, and matrices).

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The "Ad-Cut" Pantograph

[NOT DONE] A horizontal format pantograph for engraving large matrices. See Rehak. PT 107, 110.

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