Illustrations of Mergenthaler Engraving Machines

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1. From Linotype Leadership (1930)

From the Mergenthaler Linotype Company. Linotype Leadership (NY: Mergenthaler Linotype Company, 1930).

2. From The Legibility of Type (1935)

The Linotype book The Legibility of Type. (Brooklyn, NY: The Mergenthaler Linotype Company, 1935) contains a technical marketing summary of the process of making matrices. Here are a few relevant illustrations from it.

The first shows the process of tracing a letter design from paper to create a brass master. The machine used must be a pantograph engraving machine, but it is not of Benton design.

Here is the brass pattern so engraved. Note that Warde (1935) writes of this pattern being created by soldering two brass plates together, cutting the letterform out of one, riveting it to the other where it should be retained, and discarding the rest by melting away the solder. The text here says simply that the surplus area is routed away.

30 [triangle] 119 is 30-point "Benedictine," a typeface which later editions of Linotype's Useful Matrix Information identifies as a "List No. 1," or entirely obsolete, face.

Here is the punchcutting machine used. It is not a Benton design.

Here's a closeup of the cutting area of the machine. Note that this machine uses a stationary cutter beneath a moving workpiece, as did Benton's early machines. In his later machines, Benton favored a moving cutter and a stationary workpiece.


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