Noncomposing Type Casting Machines

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There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, / Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. - William Shakespeare. Hamlet.

The subject of type casting machines is vastly larger than most people expect. In the last two centuries, there have been well over a hundred different type casting machines (or separate instances of the manufacturing of machines 1 ). I make no apologies for the length of this Notebook and its sub-Notebooks. Quite the contrary - I find it inspiring to see how many different ways people have approached this field.

There are machines discussed here which you're never going to see, either because they're on the other side of the world from you or because no examples survive. For this also I make no apologies. In my opinion, the education of a typefounder should be both broad (geographically and otherwise) and deep (historically as well as technically).

Contents:

Exclusions:

This set of Notebooks covers all machines which cast individual printing types for use in hand composition (hand typesetting) or as type for typesetting machines 2 intended for use in a system of non-distribution. It excludes: 3

TO DO: Check patents noted in:

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Preliminary Topics

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Why Not Categorize Them?

Why is every kind of type casting machine gathered together here - Barths and Monotypes and Thompsons and pivotals and long-forgotten machines? Wouldn't it be better to group them into categories? For the first few years that I was developing these Notebooks, I did just that. As I learned more about the machines and myself became more proficient in the operation of at least one of them, I came to realize that this was the wrong approach. The categories that printers may have learned for these machines ("foundry automatics" vs. "sorts casters" vs. "Monotype," for example) are the products of old marketing propaganda and reflect neither the history nor the technical realities of these machines.

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Who Cast with Which Casters?

[IN PROCESS - this Notebook needs a lot of revision] It isn't nearly as simple as one might think, and much will remain unknown.

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Prerequisites and Common Elements

[MOSTLY NOT DONE - only the Nozzle Plate Notebook so far] There are certain technical elements which are not themselves typecasting machines but are nonetheless necessary for (or influential upon) the development of typecasting machines: The hardened steel mold. The lever hand mold. The force pump [query: Johnson 1828 or Bruce 1830s?]. The nozzle plate.

There are other components which, while not strictly necessary, are present on many typecasting machines: The choker valve. Water cooling. Air blast (Barth, Küstermann?)

There are also certain basic design decisions which must be made: Swinging the pot back vs. swinging the mold frame forward.

Finally, there are certain often overlooked things (or at least I overlooked them for too long) which are useful to understand: Nick orientation in hand setting, Western vs. Chinese & Japanese.

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Type Casting Machine History: A Quick Summary

In which I try to be brief. For those for whom six pages is too much, here it is in a single chart (click on the image below for a PDF).

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Non-English Search Terms

There's a great deal of information about typecasting to be found online which is invisible to English-language searching. You have to search in the terms of the original language - especially when that language has a non-Latin writing system. This Notebook is not a complete polyglot glossary of typefounding, but instead is just an ad hoc list of search terms in Chinese, Japanese, and (to a lesser extent) German. Cut-and-paste these terms into an image-based search engine and you'll be amazed at what you find. (For understanding the results, machine-based translation - e.g., clicking the translate icon when it appears in Google Chrome) does a remarkably good job if you already know the technical details of your subject.)

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Quick Links to Significant Machines

Many of the sections here are just placeholders. The Notebooks which have the most content are:

Many of the machines listed here are of historical interest only. If you're only looking for "important" machines, see especially:

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Type Casting Machines Before Bruce

The organization here is approximately chronological.

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Nicholson (1790) [Not a Casting Machine]

It has sometimes been claimed that William Nicholson invented a typecasting machine in 1790. An inspection of the Specification of his patent shows that this was not the case. His patent was for a type-revolving rotary printing press, and his overall process included a hand mold, not a machine, capable of casting multiple types simultaneously.

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Kinsley (Before 1801)

USA. Apollos Kinsley. Experimental work on multiple-mold machines. Little is known of them, and there is no indication that Kinsley's work had any influence on the history of type machinery. See {Silver 1965}, pp. 101-102. {Huss 1973}, p. 13, mentions Kinsley but says nothing substantive about him.

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White & Wing (1794-1805)

USA. Patent of 1805 (both {Ringwalt 1871}, p. 474, and {Annenberg 1994}, p. 236, date the start of their work to 1794). Elihu White and William Wing.

The White & Wing casting machine was not successful, but its failure was important. White persevered with conventional typefounding, but did not understand the construction of hand molds. In an act of industrial espionage, after the failure of his machine he placed his employee Edwin Starr in the plant of the only successful American typefounders of the time, Binny & Ronaldson. There Starr observed enough of the hand mold to copy it. (See for example {Annenberg 1994}, pp. 236-237). But Starr did not see enough to learn that Binny & Ronaldson's traditional hand molds were made of un-hardened steel. White therefore believed that hardened and tempered steel was necessary for the hand mold. The became standard American practice, as Starr was to a great extent the "vector" by which typefounding in America was transmitted. It is my belief that this use of hardened steel led directly to the characteristic pivotal form of the pivotal type caster. (See Bruce's 1874 memoir History of Typefounding in the United States, {Annenberg 1994} p. 55-56, for our primary source and the CircuitousRoot Notebook on Hardened Steel in Hand Molds for a discussion.)

David Bruce, Jr. spoke highly of White and his long-time support of the development of machine typecasting. White backed several other inventors (and also used some of their machines in his own foundries), including:

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Berte (1806, 1807)

England. Anthony Francis Berte. GB patent No. 2931 of 1806, issued April 29, 1806. GB patent No. 3033 of 1807, issued April 15, 1807.

Legros & Grant attribute to Berte the application of the force pump ( Legros & Grant 1916, p. 271). This is an error. The Specifications of Berte's two patents indicate that his machine, while it may have contained a piston, did not employ a force pump. It did, however, employ a valve which performed one half of the office of the choker valve.

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Webster (1816)

[NOT DONE] [{ Silver. Typefounding in America, 1787-1825 , p. 107}; "casting device", "unimportant to the trade"] [{ Ringwalt}, 249/g286: US Patent February 28, 1816.]

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Brunel (1820)

England. 1820. Marc Isambard Brunel. The discussion of this device in Legros & Grant 1916, p. 271, implies that it was a type casting machine. But the abridgment of the patent, GB No. 4424 of 1820, issued Jan. 25, 1820, makes it clear that it was a stereotype plate casting machines ( GB 1859, pp. 149-151.

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Dr. Church's Typecaster (1822)

Important as (a) plausible, (b) a complete typecasting, typesetting, and printing system, and (c) the origin of the "principle of non-distribution." In other words, distant though the relation is, both the Linotype and the Monotype begin here.

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Didot, "Polymatype"

[TO EXPAND; now have images]

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Pouchée (1823)

[TO DO] [Note: some contemporary English sources have "Ponchée?", which is, I think, a typographical error.]

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Applegath and Henfrey (1823)

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David Bruce Sr. and G.B.Lothian

David Bruce Jr. writes in his History of Typefounding in the United States (1874; Eckman 1981): "Mr David Bruce Sr. and George B. (Buxton) [corrected by Eckman to Baxter] Lothian at the former's experimental foundry by a written instrument resolved upon a course of experiments to test the practicability of casting type by some improved process August 30 1826. The results of their experiments were encouraging & when shewn to Mr White who was at the same time deeply engaged with Mr. W. M. Johnson on the same object struck him very favorably & they generously gave him the benefit of their researches." (pp. 38-39)

No further details are known, and it would seem that no type casting machine came of this. But to the William Johnson machine for White, while also unsuccessful, we owe the invention of the nozzle plate.

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William Johnson (1826-1828), for Elihu White

The patent by William M. Johnson for "Casting Printers' Types" has been lost (it is 5,197X, one of the so-called "X-patents" which was lost in the 1836 patent office fire; no other copy has surfaced). Silver, in Typefounding in America (p. 61) mentions it, but gives few details. He does cite Bruce's 1867/68 articles in The Typographic Messenger as his sources. The Directory of American Tool and Machine Patents ( http://www.datamp.org/) indicates that it has been assigned an X-patent number of 5,197X and dates it to Aug. 21, 1828.

See also Bruce's History of Typefounding in the United States and account of typefounding for the Commissioner of Patents (1850, p. 401)) While Johnson's type caster does not appear to have been successful, it is significant for two reasons. First, Bruce claims that it was the first type casting machine to employ a force pump (in his 1850 Report, p. 401). Second, Johnson's 1828 patent appears to have included the invention of the nozzle plate (nipple plate), which Bruce only adopted in his own 1845 machine (after experimenting with several unsuccessful alternatives). These two features are integral to all subsequent type casting machines.

ALSO: [{ Ringwalt}, 475/g540] [{ Ringwalt}, 249/g286: US Patent August 21, 1826 (casting)] [{ Silver. Typefounding in America, 1787-1825 }; worked with White in 1830s.]

Improvements in 1828 by George F. Peterson (see Bruce's "History of Typefounding"; patent 5,250X).

William Johnson should not be confused with his contemporary Lawrence Johnson, who purchased Binny & Ronaldson's type foundry.

William Johnson's machine is one of four associated with or supported by Elihu White. The others are:

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Sturdevant & Starr (ca. 1825 - 1827)

Financed by the Boston Type & Stereotype Foundry. See also the later Mann & Sturdevant Type Caster (1831).

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Aspinwell (1828)

[NOT DONE] [GB patent Abridgements for Printing (1859), 177/g198: Aspinwell, Thomas. 1828 May 22, No. 5,658. "An improved method of casting printing types by means of a mechanical process, which invention I propose to call the Mechanical Type Caster."]

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Peterson (1828)

[NOT DONE] { Ringwalt}, 249/g286: US patent (casting).

This machine is one of four associated with or supported by Elihu White. The others are:

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Lothian (ca. 1830)

[NOT DONE] [{ Ringwalt, 287/g332; mold overheating 477/g542}] [{ Silver. Typefounding in America, 1787-1825 , 46-50}, and references cited there, esp. David Bruce, Jr.]

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Mann & Sturdevant (1831)

While Bruce writes unkindly of this machine, it cannot have been a complete failure. It was in operation in all three foundries associated with Elihu White. The Cincinnati Type Foundry alone had fifteen in operation in 1836. As such this is probably the first type casting machine manufactured in any quantity.

See also the earlier machine by Sturdevant & Starr (1827).

This machine is one of four associated with or supported by Elihu White. The others are:

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Bruce's Pivotal Type Caster

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Pivotal Type Casters (Bruce)

In the late 1830s, David Bruce developed the first successful type-casting machine. It has been called a "Bruce" machine, after him, or a "pivotal" machine, after its motions. It is basically an automated hand mold attached to a "force pump." Like a hand mold, a pivotal type caster produces an unfinished type which must be dressed by hand.

Bruce himself credits much of the development of more elaborate type in the 19th century to its introduction of the force pump (though I would argue that the development of patrix engraving for electroforming matrices was equally as important). From the 1840s, it dominated the typecasting of the 19th century; it remained in use in type foundry operation through the demise of ATF in 1993. There was no single, branded, "Bruce" or pivotal caster. Each foundry made them (or had them made) for their own use (individually or in very short production runs).

Note on searching for Japanese pivotal casters: The most common name for the pivotal type caster in Japanese is the name "Bruce" rendered phonetically into the Japanese language and written using the Katakana syllabary as: "ブルース" (Burūsu). However, in translating this back into English Google Translate insists that it is "Blues," not "Bruce."

The discussion in this pivotal type caster Notebook is of pivotals historically and in general. It is also useful to distinguish particular pivotal casters when we know enough about them to place them historically. I'll incorporate these in the general historical flow of machines in the present Notebook:

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Mid-19th Century Developments

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Bessemer (1838)

[GB patent Abridgements for Printing (1859), 203/g224: Bessemer, Henry. 1838 March 8, No. 7,585]

This was an experimental machine with several interesting features. Most notably, it was an attempt at vacuum type casting. It also involved an early form of mold not based on the hand mold. (Bessemer also explicitly included a "counting machine indicating the number of types cast," which is a seemingly minor feature without which casting types for fonts is much more difficult.)

Bessemer described this machine in his Autobiography (pp. 38-39), where he notes that it "performed all its functions with perfect precision," being deficient only in that Bessemer's casting machine was not developed, but it is mentioned often in general histories. It should not be confused with Bessemer's work in an advisory capacity on the Young & Delcambre "Piantype" typesetter.

The notion that "the inventions that led to the Monotype machine" were "given a solid foundation in the 1840s" ( {Reed 2004}, 310 n123) by Bessemer is not true. (In Reed's case, it is based on a misreading of the reference in {Berry 1958} (p. 685) to Bessemer's work on the Young & Delcambre typesetter.

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Benjamin (1841)

[NOT DONE] [GB patent Abridgements for Printing (1859), 230/g251: Benjamin, Nathaniel. 1841 June 28, No. 9,010. "machine for manufacturing many pieces of type at one operation."]

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Mazzini (1843)

[NOT DONE] Thompson, in { History of Composing Machines } mentions a patent by Joseph Mazzini (1843), saying only that it "covered a machine for a similar purpose [similar to Church's typecaster]" (77)

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Duncan, John (1843)

[NOT DONE] [GB patent Abridgements for Printing (1859), 246/g267 Duncan, John. 1843 June 26, No. 9,802. Casting and smoothing at the same time.] [Possible but uncertain link with a Stewart (otherwise not yet known to me, but see James Stewart, below) in Figgins' Discussion of John R. Johnson's {" On Certain Improvements in the Manufacture of Printing Types."}]

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Stewart (1843)

[NOT DONE] [{ Ringwalt}, 249/g286: James Stewart. March 21, 1843. "An improved machine for casting, smoothing, and setting up type for examination." See note on John Duncan, above; but Duncan's patent was GB, and Stewart's US.]

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Poirrier (1845)

[NOT DONE] [GB patent Abridgements for Printing (1859), 257/g278 Poirrier de, St. Charles Pillipe. 1845 July 1, No. 10,746. But this may be a cold impression machine; see GB patent of Henry Gardiner Guion Jude, 1852 September 13, No. 14,309.]

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Newton, William (1845)

[NOT DONE] [GB patent Abridgements for Printing (1859), 260/g281: Newton, William. 1845 Nov 17, No. 10,947.] [Newton's London Journal. Vol. XL 1852 (online via Google Books)] [Possible but uncertain link with Kronheim in Figgins' Discussion of John R. Johnson's {" On Certain Improvements in the Manufacture of Printing Types"}, but this may be Alfred Vincent Newton, some other Newton, or a false lead.]

The same William Newton? [GB patent Abridgements for Printing (1859), 306/g329: Newton, William Edward. 1850 April 23, No. 13,058.] [GB patent Abridgements for Printing (1859), 430/g453: Newton, William Edward. 1854 April 24, No. 937.]

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Barr (1847, 1852)

[NOT DONE] [{ Ringwalt}, 250/g287: Wm. P. Barr. US patent Sept. 4, 1847. Assigned to Geo. Bruce and P. C. Cortelyou. "A machine for casting printing-types, so arranged as to move a matrix to and from the mould, and to discharge the type nearly perpendicularly, or at any suitale angle, wihtout using the edge of the mould for a fulcrum." US patent August 10, 1852. "The invention claimed is the employment in type-casting machines of an adjustable valve."]

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Foucher (1847 - 1877)

The Foucher firm began in 1847, but it was the Foucher "complete" ("automatic" in American terminology) type casting and dressing machine of 1878 which had the greatest influence. At present, I'm collecting all of the material I have on Foucher, both from 1847 to 1877 and from 1878 onward, in the Foucher (1878) Notebook, below.

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Newton, Alfred Vincent (1848)

[NOT DONE] [GB patent Abridgements for Printing (1859), 291/g312: Newton, Alfred Vincent. 1848 December 16, No. 12,372.] [Possible but uncertain link with Kronheim in Figgins' Discussion of John R. Johnson's {" On Certain Improvements in the Manufacture of Printing Types"}, but this may be William Newton, some other Newton, or a false lead.]

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Beniowski, Bartholemew (1848)

[NOT DONE] [GB patent Abridgements for Printing (1859), 295/g316: Beniowski, Bartholemew. 1848 April 26, No. 12,589. Mold with jet on side.]

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Sturgis (1849, 1851, 1853)

[NOT DONE] [{ Ringwalt}, 250/g287: John L. Sturgis. US patent March 27, 1849. "The improvement in type-casting machines claimed is the conical plug, and arrangement of the chamber in which it works, in combination with the nipple and bath and well." US patent Sept. 9, 1851. "The employment in type-casting machines of a lever, having adjusting slot, adjuster, and matrix spring-holder, and their combination with the horizontal slide, slide ways, and matrix spring." US patent June 14, 1853. "The nature of this improvement in type-casting machines consists in the use of the horizontal mould-block rest, in combination with the vertical and horizontal rock-shafts and cam, and the use of the lever and rod, in combination with the horzontal mould-block rest and matrix. Also the use of the matrix holder, having a slot in it, to allow the lifting motion on its centre-pin, and a notch on its back side for the end of a spring to act against, in combination with a spring, and inclined plane or cam, on the horizontal rock-shaft, and a pin for holding it, and a V-shaped bar secured to an ajdustable end plate, attached to the outer end of the lower half of the mould-block." ]

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Bachelder and Dyer (1849)

[NOT DONE] [{ Ringwalt}, 250/g287: John Bachelder and S. D. Dyer. US patent July 27, 1849. "The improvement in type-casting consists in an endless chain and wheels, with a series of moulds attached thereto, with a suitable vessel or other suitable substitute for the metal, all made to operate together."]

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Brockhaus (by 1851)

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Calles (1853)

[NOT DONE] [GB patent Abridgements for Printing (1859), 377/g400: Calles, Andre. 1853 Sept. 6, No. 2,049.]

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Johnson, John Robert (UK, 1853), with King and Atkinson

This may have been the first machine to produce fully dressed type, but I'm not certain of the degree to which it was employed.

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George Bruce. US Patent 11,955 (1854-11-14)

The US patent 11,955 (1854-11-14) issued to George Bruce (not David Bruce) may be the first application of forced air cooling to a type mold, but it is a curious patent which seems to show the air blast applied to something like a hand mold on a stand next to a melting pot. It is unrevealing about pivotal type casters.

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Müller (1854)

[NOT DONE] [{ Ringwalt}, 250/g287: Chas. Müller. US patent January 3, 1854. "The improvement in type-casting machines claimed is for suspending the mould below its axis of oscillation, whereby its tendency toward the centre of gravity will act in opposition to the momentum required, in its movement towards and from the mould, and its movement and degree of opening can then be reduced. Also, the combination of a cam, lever, and rod, for the purpose of opening and closing the mould."]

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[unnamed] (1854)

[NOT DONE] [{ Ringwalt}, 250/g287:

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Rascol (1855)

[NOT DONE] [GB patent Abridgements for Printing (1859), 507/g530: Rascol, Eugene Hippolyte. 1855 October 24, No. 2,385. Mold with independent parts; automatic trimming of type to size / dressing.]

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Constance (1857)

[NOT DONE] [GB patent Abridgements for Printing (1859), 574/g597: Constance, Francois. 1857 January 26, No. 223. Secondary reservoir of metal; automatic dressing.]

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Venderborght (1857)

[NOT DONE] [GB patent Abridgements for Printing (1859), 586/g608: Venderborght, Michael Joseph. 1857 May 16, No. 1,371. Mold; automatic dressing.]

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Gerlach (1858)

Handgießmaschine. Illustrated in Wilkes, p. 116. It looks to be a straightforward pivotal caster.

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Hillerscheidt (1858)

Handgießmaschine. Illustrated in Wilkes, p. 116.

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Schaub (1858)

[NOT DONE] [{ Ringwalt}, 250/g287: George Schaub (of Hamburg) US patent March 30, 1858. "The nature of this invention consists in manufacturing types for printing, by casting the stems or bodies of the types at the back of a sheet of type-heads, and also, in the manufacture of spaces used in settin gup type, by means of a moveable frame."]

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Bauer (1859)

Handgießmaschine. Illustrated in Wilkes, p. 116. It looks to be a straightforward pivotal caster.

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Dresler (1859)

Handgießmaschine. Illustrated in Wilkes, p. 117.

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Hanemann (1860)

Handgießmaschine. Illustrated in Wilkes, p. 117.

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Haas (1862)

Handgießmaschine. Illustrated in Wilkes, p. 117.

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Smith (1863)

[NOT DONE] [{ Ringwalt}, 251/g288: John J. C. Smith. US patent July 19, 1864. "This invention consists of a machine for cutting types of all sizes from strips of metal which are cast or made of type-heads on one side. It is accomplished by a rotary saw, with clamps to hold the metal strips, and feeding arrangements suited to the purpose." US patent July 26, 1864. "The object of this invention is to obtain type by casting a strip of type-metal, which strip has on one edge a row of type-heads or faces, separated from each other by intervening spaces, sufficient to allow a saw to be passed between, to cut them apart into single type." US patent December 6, 1864. "This invention consists in forming the body of printers' type of rolled metal, drawn out to a uniform thickness and width, and in soldering a row of electrotype heads to one edge, and then cutting the strip into single type."]

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Baudouin ([date?])

System Baudouin. 19th century. Not pivotal (but is it fully "automatic/Komplet"? (Illustrated in: Audin, Marius. Histoire de L'Imprimerie par L'Image: Tome I - L'Histoire et La Technique. Paris: Henre Jonquières, 1928.)

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Schelter & Giesecke (Pivotal)

The typefounding firm of Schelter & Giesecke in Liepzig appears to have produced casters under its own name (although I do not know if they were offered for sale). These appear to have been relatively conventional pivotal machines.

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The 1878 Foucher

The Foucher of the late 1870s and its derivative the Barth in the 1880s, were the most significant developments in type casting machinery in the late 19th century. The 1878 Foucher was the first commercially successful machine to cast and finish type. The Germans call machines of this kind "Komplettgießmaschinen" ("complete" type casting machines). In America they're more often called "automatic" machines. In their early literature they were sometimes also termed "perfecting" machines (by analogy with "perfecting" presses, which produced finished sheets all at once by printing both sides simultaneously).

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Foucher (1878)

This was the first commercially successful complete type casting and dressing machine. In addition to its production into the 20th century by Foucher in France, machines based on it were also produced by Küstermann in Germany and several companies in Asia. The Barth caster in America was based on the Foucher.

The Foucher firm was a complete supplier to the typefounding and printing industry, manufacturing and selling not only typecasters but also punch and patrix cutter's tool, matrix justifier's tools, electrotyping and stereotyping equipment, composing and printing equipment, etc. This section also contains reprints of the 1872 and 1905 Foucher general catalogues.

At present, I'm collecting all Foucher information I can find in this Notebook, even if it concerns earlier Foucher machines from 1847 to 1877.

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Küstermann, System Foucher; Küco-Vital

Komplettgießmaschinen (many models over a long history), System Foucher. Discussed and illustrated extensively in Wilkes. In the second half of the 20th century, this firm became the KüKo-Maschinenbau and developed their Foucher style machines first into a series of numbered models (e.g., the Küco 2 and Küco 3) and then, circa 1958-1960, into the Küco-Vital ("KV") series.

See also Küstermann, System Kisch and Küstermann, System Küstermann.

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Late 19th Century Machines

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Wicks Rotary Typecaster (1878)

Note that the Wicks firm also manufactured matrices for use with their machine, by punching (but I have no information on them or the faces cut).

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Barth (1888)

Derived from the Foucher machine of 1878, the Barth was the first complete type casting and dressing machine in America. It remained in continuous use until the early 21st century, and a few machines may yet be returned to service.

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Ziegler; MSJ/ATF Space & Quad Casters (1892)

Several early sources show a style of caster at MacKellar, Smiths & Jordan and later ATF which so far has not been identified in the literature. I will argue that these are Ziegler-patent casters which were used for casting spaces and quads. They survived in use until 1993.

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Stempel Typecasters

Schnellgießmaschine and Doppel-Schnellgießmaschine. Also a Hohlsteg-und-Regletten-Komplett-Gießmaschine (a stripcasting machine, I believe).

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Küstermann, System Küstermann (by 1896)

Komplettgießmaschine, "System Küstermann."

See also Küstermann, System Foucher / Küco-Vital and Küstermann, System Kisch

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Küstermann, System Kisch (by 1896)

Handgießmaschine, "System Kisch."

See also Küstermann, System Foucher / Küco-Vital and Küstermann, System Küstermann.

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Late 19th Century English Pivotals

[TO DO] England, with exports. Link to photos of the Caslon Type Foundry (London) on SpitalfieldsLife.com. Illustrate my own pivotal type caster.

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Titchener (English Pivotal)

Legros, in "Typecasting and Composing Machinery" (1908), says "The Simple Typecasting Machine is usually known in England as the Titchener machine; this is substantially the same as the Bruce machine, invented and used in America prior to 1845." (p. 1093).

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The Ex-ATF "Giant Pivotal"

[TO DO] USA. [TO DO] Now owned and operated by Gregory Jackson Walters.

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Inland (1895-1912)

Nicholas J. Werner, in Werner, N. J. "St. Louis' Place on the Type-Founders' Map." The Inland Printer. Vol. 79, No. 5 (August 1927): 764-766. says that "The Inland Type Foundry also sold one of its improved model [type casting] machines to a German foundry." (766) He does not name this German typefoundry, but Inland did sell a pantograph engraving machine of their manufacture to Genzsch & Heyse An earlier remark in the same paragraph indicates that this machine was not one "automatically doing all the work (i.e., producing finished type)." It is most likely, therefore, that it was an improved form of pivotal caster.

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The 20th Century

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Compositype (circa 1903)

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Monotype Type-&-Rule Caster (1903, ca. 1914)

The Monotype Type-&-Rule Caster is a Monotype Composition Caster stripped of its composition-related components and with the addition of suitable components for casting display types and for casting leads and rules. With the addition or subtraction of suitable components, one machine could be converted into the other.

This machine is commonly called the "Orphan Annie," but there is as yet no positive confirmation of the rumor that this nickname derives from its serial number prefix. When such a machine retained its composition capabilities, it might be termed a "Combination Machine." There were also references to a machine called a "Lead, Slug-&-Rule Caster"; at present I believe that this was essentially a Type-&-Rule Caster less its Display Type Attachment, but this is merely speculation on my part.

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Schokmiller (after 1904?)

Charles H. Schokmiller was an important figure in late 19th century American typefounding. He made a pantograph engraving machine which was exported to Stephenson, Blake and made typecasting equipment to his own design for at least the Keystone and Western type foundries (and, I presume, for his own Laclede Type Foundry). He started up two type foundries (Western and Laclede), in each case with sufficient success to force ATF to buy him out. Yet by the time of his death in the late 1920s, he was remembered by few.

Little is known about his type casting machinery, but the machines he built for the Western Type Foundry seem to have been pivotal type casters of an unusual configuration.

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The Nuernberger-Rettig or Universal Automatic Typecasting Machine

Essentially a pivotal typecaster re-engineered for use by printers.

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Thompson

The mainstay of 21st century typefounding.

The Thompson was an influential machine, especially in Asia. Copies or derivative machines include:

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Hardinge (1907)

Developed by Henry H. Hardinge at Wiebking, Hardinge & Co. Known to have been used at their Advance Type Foundry; unknown if used by its successors. Not produced for sale.

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Shanks

Writing in 1916, Legros & Grant note that all typefounders in England save two use pivotal casters exclusively. One of the two was P. M. Shanks & Sons, "who also use a machine of their own design and construction, which has a vertical body-slide." ( Typographical Printing Surfaces, p. 304)

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Bannerman

R. P. Bannerman & Co. At present I know nothing of this save for a brief reference in {Wallis, L. W. "Legros and Grant: The Typographical Connection." Journal of the Printing Historical Society. No. 28 (1999): 5-39. (p. 32)} which indicates that Bannerman was selling a "proprietary" sorts caster in competition to the Davis caster of Grant, Legros & Co. The Bannerman firm also manufactured matrices for sale; see: ../ Noncomposing Typecasters -> Foundry Specimens & Typography -> R. P. Bannerman & Son.

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Bhisotype (1908)

See Legros & Grant pp. 319-320 (the Bhisotype Single Typecaster).

In addition to the "Bhisotype single typecaster," Legros & Grant briefly mention (p. 319) but do not illustrate two other typecsters by Prof. S. A. Bhisey. One is described as a "multiple-mould typecaster" claimed to be faster than even the Wicks. They say that it is "not at present in general use." They also mention a horizontal-axis rotary typecaster recently (in 1916) patented by Bhisey.

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Wood, Miles & Co., Pivotals

England. Attested 1910.

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The Davis Typecaster

[TO DO - extract info/illus. from Legros & Grant] Made by Grant, Legros & Co. (Lucien Alphonse Legros and John Cameron Grant, of Typographical Printing Surfaces fame). The Davis Typecaster was apparently a pivotal caster adapted to deliver finished types and capable of casting from Linotype, Monotype and "Typograph" (I presume Rogers Typograph) matrices. Grant, Legros and Co. Ltd. were acquired in 1919 by the Williams Engineering Co. Ltd., makers of the Nodis Rapid Caster. See {Wallis, L. W. "Legros and Grant: The Typographical Connection." Journal of the Printing Historical Society. No. 28 (1999): 5-39.}

Legros & Grant (1916) mention two versions of the Davis. One (1912 model illustrated) has several additions for breaking the jet and dressing the type. A second form (also illustrated) was set up with horizontal delivery of finished types.

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Commercial Press' Machine Shop (Shanghai, 1913)

Shanghai, Republic of China. 1913. Thompson clone.

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Williams Engineering / The Nodis Works, Pivotals

England. Attested 1919.

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Legros & Grant Rapid Typecaster

This one almost slips by in Legros & Grant (1916) because they don't give it a name. It is a "rapid typecaster" "designed and produced" by the firm of Grant, Legros & Co.. See pp. 308-309 and Fig. 294 of Plate XX. It is not clear if any were sold; they seem to have envisioned for it the same market as the Wicks, the supplying of type disposable type, not intended for subsequent distribution, to non-casting typesetting machines.

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The Nodis Rapid Caster

[TO DO] Williams Engineering Company, Ltd.. See { Hurst and Lawrence. Letterpress: Composition and Machine Work. (1963) , pp. 23-24} Here it is said to use two moulds, to produce type from 5 to 72 point, "as well as a wide range of spacing material in the form of quads and quotations up to 72 x 72 pt. In addition, the machine can produce a variety of leads, rules and borders to measures as required."

A footnotes in Rice's Matrix Making at the Oxford University Press. (1982) says "Williams Engineering Co., Ltd. Nodis Works, Ealing, London, this firm manufactured the Nodis Typecaster." and the text of Rice's account indicates that they may have manufactured pivotal casters for the Oxford University Press as well. They ceased matrix manufacture for the OUP circa 1953.

{Wallis, L. W. "Legros and Grant: The Typographical Connection." Journal of the Printing Historical Society. No. 28 (1999): 5-39. (p. 37)} indicates that the Williams Engineering Co. Ltd. purchased Grant, Legros & Co. Ltd. (makers of the Davis Typecaster) in 1919. See The American Printer. Vol. 71, no ? (July 20, 1920): 59. which had a trade note on this caster.

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[Typecaster for Sugimoto Typewriter Type] (1915)

In 1915, 杉本京太 (SUGIMOTO Kyōta) developed a Japanese-language (邦文, Hōbun) typewriter. It was a machine which printed by selecting from a large array of Kanji and Kana characters cast on individual types not unlike regular printing types. The type casting machine developed to cast the type for use in this typewriter may have been the first domestically engineered type casting machine in Japan.

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Foucher Duplex Rapid Caster

Legros & Grant briefly mention (p. 309) but do not illustrate a "rapid caster" by Foucher (France), different from that firm's "ordinary machine."

If/when I discover any further information about this machine, I'll put it in the main Foucher (1878) Notebook.

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Böttger Rapid Caster

Legros & Grant briefly mention (p. 310) but do not illustrate "the earliest German rapid caster" of Gottfried Böttger (Leipzig).

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Carter

A 1921 attempt to manufacture a typecaster designed by John Thomas Carter. It claimed the ability to cast type from 5 to 72 points. Affiliated in some way with the Superior Matrix Company. Their shop superintendent was Charles B. Ketterer, "formerly superintendent of the display matrix department of the Lanston Monotype Machine Company."

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Monotype Giant Caster

US. Lanston Monotype Machine Company (Philadelphia). Introduced 1926. This was a new design, technically unrelated to the Monotype Composition and Type-&-Rule Casters, the development of which was led by Lanston Monotype's chief engineer at the time, Mauritz C. Indahl.

14-72 point type (plus 84 point title line caps, and special figures & Fractions to 108 point); quads and spaces 14-72 point; fusion-cast strip material to 72 point in any length from 1 pica up.

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Monotype Super Caster

England. The Monotype Corporation Limited and its successors. Introduced 1928. Type and unit borders from 4 1/2 to 72 point. Spacing material, rules and leads, continuous borders, strip furniture, gblock mounting material, etc.

Only a little information here at present: one sales brochure published in the US by Lanston, Bob Halbert's mold change procedures, and technical bibliography.

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Morikawa Ryobundo Type Foundry, Pivotals

Japan. By 1935. Morikawa Ryobundo Type Foundry, Osaka. Pivotal type caster of their manufacture offered for sale in a catalog of typefounders' materials.

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Martin Torlsaas

At present I have only one reference to this machine. Dard Hunter's Mountain House Press acquired one in 1942 from the "Hansen Company." See Cathleen A. Baker "The Typefaces of Dard Hunter, Senior and Junior." [chapter 4 in] David Pankow, ed. ( American Proprietary Typefaces. [no location]: American Printing History Association, 1998): 65. Baker's source is probably Dard Hunter's Papermaking in Indo-China: Prospectus (Chillicothe, OH: Mountain House Press, 1947), but this is now a rare and expensive item and I have not yet seen it. Yet there is a puzzle here, because according to Annenberg Hansen type foundry had been dissolved ca. 1922, twenty years earlier. Was "The Hansen Company" a different entity? "Martin Torlsaas" machines are at present otherwise unattested.

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Koike Automatic Type Caster

Japan. Koike Mnufacturing Company, Limited. Company from 1947. The Koike Automatic Type Caster was derived from the Thompson Type Caster, but it was modified in several ways. In particular, it trimmed the type on all four sides, not just two like the Thompson. An optional eight-matrix magazine was also available.

This Notebook will cover the Koike Automatic Type Caster and the general history of Koike Manufacturing and its founder, KOIKE Rinpei.

Koike Manufacturing Co., Ltd. built what is perhaps the most diverse range of hot metal equipment of any company in history. Besides this Thompson-derived type caster, the machines they built included:

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The Unicast

[TO DO] [See Graphic Arts Monthly December 1949, p. 101 (ad)]

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Hakko

Nagano, Japan. A distinct design with casting, mold, trimming, and matrix handling equipment quite unlike Foucher/Barth machines (on the one hand) or the Thompson (on the other). A "complete" or "automatic" machine which trims the type on all four sides. Still in use today at (at least) Tsukiji Katsuji in Japan and RiXing in Taiwan.

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Pivotal at Chungnan Type Foundry

Japan. Taiwan, Republic of China. Japanese-made machine of as yet unknown provenance. Used at the Chungnan Type Foundry, Taiwan.

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Pivotal Casters at Stephenson, Blake

[NOT DONE] England. Early 21st century photographs of the last pivotal type casters in use at Stephenson, Blake indicate that they were relatively substantial machines.

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The Hua-Nan Casting Machine

[TO DO] Taiwan. [See Rimmer, Jim. "Typefounding in Vancouver's Chinatown." ATF Newsletter No. 13 (April 1990): 6-13.]

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The Man-Nen

[TO DO] Japan. [See Rimmer, Jim. "Typefounding in Vancouver's Chinatown." ATF Newsletter No. 13 (April 1990): 6-13.]

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Notes

1. In many cases I will consider the independent manufacturing of a copy of another machine, or a variation on another machine, as a separate type casting machine. Historians of ideas will reject this practice, claiming that the copy is "just the same" as the original and that it does not merit separate consideration. People who believe this have never actually built a machine. There's more to it than you think.

2. A “typesetting” machine is one which takes previously cast metal types and sets them in composition. (It may or may not do line division and/or line justification. It may or may not do type distribution, or be intended for use in an overall system which includes type distribution.) The system proposed by Church in 1822 was a typesetting system with non-distribution. The Paige Compositor was a typesetting machine which included distribution. Neither the Linotype nor the Monotype Composition Caster are typesetting machines – they are composition casters. Both of them cast type (as slugs in the Linotype or as individual types in the Monotype) in composition. They do not set previously cast types.

3. With the exception of the early Ikarus system, we have not yet achieved digital type – only computer-aided lettering. It is not necessary to exclude that which does not exist.

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Fragments

In the "Discussion" of John R. Johnson's paper "{" On Certain Improvements in the Manufacture of Printing Types."} in { Journal of the Society of Arts. Vol. 21, No. 1061 (March 21, 1873) , pp. 330-338}, Mr. Figgins (Vincent Figgins?) says of the activities of the Associated Founders (in the UK): "Stewart and Duncan's, and Kronheim and Newton's patents having been purchased by two founders, the expense was divided amongst the whole body, and the machines offered by them not only to all typefounders, but to any printers who wished to avail themselves of them." (p. 336/g348) I have been able to locate typefounding patents for John Duncan (see above), but not for Stewart. There are also typefounding patents for Alfred Vincent Newton and for William Newton, but Kronheim's patents seem to be for stereotyping.

The US patent by John McCreary, Dec. 7, 1852, { Ringwalt}, 250/g287} is for producing wooden, not metal type by machine. It isn't, therefore, type casting, but may be of interest. "The patent is for the combination of a lever, or crank, with an inclined plane on its side, to hold the dies in place, and the feeding lever, spring, dog, and tube or grooved piece on the side of the press, to move and guide the type wood to the place for receiving the impession, in a press for forming wooden type."

The device of R. W. and D. Davis { Ringwalt}, 251/g288: R. W. and D. Davis. US patent September 22, 1863, seems to be more a soft-material injection molding process rather than the casting of a liquid: "The improvement consists of a mould, made of a series of detached strips, fastened by a connecting band, and passed through a box under a receiver filled with plastic material, and fitted with a plunger, whereby the material is pressed into the moulds, and cut off by a knife from the receiver, the registering of the moulds with the matrices being insured by projections on the mould.

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Bibliography

Note: This is not a comprehensive bibliography of type casting machines. It's just a list of the books which happen to have been mentioned in this Notebook.

{Annenberg 1994} Annenberg, Maurice, with Stephen O. Saxe, ed. Type Foundries of America and their Catalogs. Second Edition. New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 1994.

{Berry 1958} Berry, W. Turner. "Printing and Related Trades," in Charles Singer, et. al., eds. A History of Technology. Vol. V: The Late Nineteenth Century. NY & London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1958.

Berry's summary of his subjects is good, and accurate, but because of its nature as a small fragment of a massive compendium it is necessarily condensed. It is easy to misread Berry, and difficult to understand the history of typefounding from his account.

{Bruce 1981} Bruce, David, Jr. History of Typefounding in the United States. 1874. Ed. James Eckman. (NY: The Typophiles, 1981).

This late 19th century memoir by Bruce was not published properly until 1981. It is an extremely valuable, but very disorganized, source. I found it necessary to compile an index into this work.

{GB 1859} Great Britain, Commissioner of Patents. Patents for Inventions: Abridgments of Specifications Relating to Printing. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1859.

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{Huss 1973} Huss, Richard E. The Development of Printers' Mechanical Typesetting Methods, 1822-1925. Charlottesville, Virginia: The University Press of Virginia for the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia, 1973.

{Legros & Grant 1916} Legros, Lucien A. and John Cameron Grant. Typographical Printing Surfaces. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1916.

Reprinted in the CircuitousRoot Notebook of General Literature on Making Printing Matrices and Types.

{Reed 2004} Reed, Christopher A. Gutenberg in Shanghai: Chinese Print Capitalism, 1876 - 1937. Vancouver, BC: Univ. of British Columbia Press, 2004. Reprint: Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai`i Press, 2004.

{Ringwalt 1871} Ringwalt, J. Luther, ed. American Encyclopædia of Printing. Philadelphia, PA: Menamin & Ringwalt, 1871.

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{Silver 1965} Silver, Rollo. Typefounding in America, 1787-1825. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia for the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia, 1965.