Plates from The Monotype System (1912)

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1. The Problem

Google Books has digitized the first edition of The Monotype System (Philadelphia, PA: Lanston Monotype Machine Company, 1912). They digitized the University of Michigan copy. This digitization has been released for full view and is available for free download via Google Books.

(I believe that you can also purchase an e-book version of the same, should you not wish to download it for free.)

A user of The Internet Archive ( has uploaded this Google Books digitization to The Internet Archive. It is available for free download from them. Although The Internet Archive does digitize many items on their own, the version at The Internet Archive is Google's digitization (of the University of Michigan copy).

All of this is quite nice, save for a problem: when Google Books digitized this book, they did not properly digitize the fold-out Plates at the end of the book.

2. A Partial Solution

A couple of years ago, I did my own scan of a different copy of the same edition (1912) of The Monotype System. The problem here is that the (borrowed) copy that was then available to me had been defaced (the frontispiece was missing, one illustration was cut out, and Plate II was missing). So although I can supply Plates I, III, IV, V, and VI of the 1912 edition, I cannot supply Plate II from it.

I do own a copy of the second edition of this work (1916). It differs significantly from the 1912 edition, but by examination it would appear that Plate VI of the second edition is the same plate which appeared as Plate II of the first edition. Both show an 8 1/2 Set Keyboard Scale.

Since I began this project, I've now a copy of the 1912 edition. From this I've supplied the fold-out sheets which appear between pp. 68-69, 120-121, and 232-233. This issue also has a Plate VII (not present in my borrowed copy and not deducible from the Google version). Wouldn't you know it, though, this copy is missing plates II and III.

I've also included the frontispiece, a fold-out plate containing color illustrations of the keyboard and the composition caster, because they're beautiful pictures and the versions in the Google scan are not.

Here then are the plates in reduced-size but readable versions. If these look too small on your browser window, try clicking again on them as your browser may be shrinking them to fit the window. Better yet, copy the files to your own computer and view them offline using the image viewer of your choice.

3. A Full Solution

I need to obtain a complete copy of the 1912 first edition and digitize and upload both it and the 1916 second edition. This may, however, be a project of lower priority than others as I have a Monotype display caster, not a composition caster.

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