MacKellar, Smiths and Jordan

By 1896

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1. Hints

In 1892, the type foundry of MacKellar, Smiths, and Jordan was amalgamated into American Type Founders. The individual type foundries which survived within the company did not, however, immediately merge into one; the continued in several cases to operate under their own names. So in 1896, the 100th anniversary of the beginnings of Binny & Ronaldson (their earliest predecessor, and the first successful type foundry in America) MacKellar, Smiths and Jordan issued a commemorative volume entitled One Hundred Years under their own name. {MSJ 1896} It is a rich source of information.

It shows one illustration of two engravers at work. As I argue elsewhere, I believe that the engraver on the left is cutting (by hand) patrices for electroforming (not punches for striking). The device being used by the person to his right is clearly a vertical-format single-arm pantograph of some kind. If the engraver on the left is engraving patrices by hand, it would be reasonable to conclude that the engraver on the right is doing the same by machine. Unfortunately, the details of this pantograph are difficult to make out in this photograph.

[click image to view larger]

image link-to-mackellar-smiths-jordan-1896-1200rgb-0045-engraving-sf0.jpg

( {MSJ 1896}, p. 45. 1200dpi version)

Aside from this single image, I have as yet been able to discover no information about this machine.

2. Notes and References

{MSJ 1896} MacKellar, Smiths & Jordan. One Hundred Years. Philadelphia, PA: MacKellar, Smiths & Jordan, 1896.

The sections on typefounding have been reprinted by CircuitousRoot.


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