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This image depicts a "matrix" (or "mat") for a composing linecaster such as a Linotype or Intertype, Most of the printed matter in the world from the end of the 19th century through the middle of the 20th was created using mats such as this, so a bit of a flourish around it is entirely appropriate.
In this image, a brass intermediate pattern for the sort "B" is being traced by a Benton-style pantograph matrix engraving machine. Another portion of this machine, located vertically above, is engraving a punch to be used to punch Linotype matrices.
From: Intertype Corporation. Streamlined Intertype Line Composing Machines. Brooklyn, NY: Intertype Corporation, [n.d., after 1946 (uses "Visilite" trademark) but before 1963 (no ZIP codes), probably early 1950s] Scanned by DMM from the original.
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