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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Okawa (1883)

Pivotal type casters were first imported into China in 1858 and into Japan in the 1870s. In 1883, 大川光次 / Ōkawa Kōji / OKAWA Mitsuru (1853-1912) began the domestic manufacture of pivotal type casters in Japan.

Okawa was widely respected; he taught typecaster manufacturing to 大岩久吉 / Ōiwa Hisayoshi / OIWA Hisayoshi (see Oiwa, below).

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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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Oiwa Pivotals(late 19th, early 20th C.)

大岩久吉 / Ōiwa Hisayoshi / OIWA Hisayoshi (? - 1937) started the 大岩鉄工所 / Ōiwa tekkōjo / Oiwa Iron Works at some point probably in the late 19th century. He was taught typecaster manufacturing by 大川光次 / Ōkawa Kōji / OKAWA Mitsuru (1853-1912) and began making pivotal type casters.

In 1926, Oiwa began making a copy of the Thompson Type Caster (see Oiwa Thompson Copy, below).

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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.

This typewriter and its casting machine began at least four important developments in Japanese typecaster manufacturing:

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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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Monobe's 1924 Non-Bruce Pivotal

The company which became 林栄社 / Rin-Eisha was founded 1924 as 林研究所 / Hayashi kenkyūjo / Hayashi Institute by 林栄三 / HAYASHI Eizō, who had previously been a "director" of the Nippon Typewriter Company (makers of the Sugimoto Japanese-language typewriter - see above, 1915). He brought with him 物部延太郎 / MONOBE Nobutaro, formerly chief engineer at Nippon Typewriter. They are best known (or should be better known!) for developing the Man-Nen Type Caster (see below).

In 1924, Monobe patented a typecaster mold which is interesting on two counts. First, its matrix handling mechanism was later used on the Man-Nen (and other casters). Second, it is a mold unlike the mold of a pivotal type caster (that is, it is not based on the typefounders' hand mold) but in the patent it is shown applied to a pivotal. It is not clear that this machine was ever produced; it may have been experimental. Nevertheless, this is the only instance of which I am aware of a "non-Bruce" pivotal type caster. US patent 1,580,521 and British patent 238,147 of 1925.

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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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Oiwa (Thompson Copy, 1926)

大岩久吉 / Ōiwa Hisayoshi / OIWA Hisayoshi (? - 1937) and the 大岩鉄工所 / Ōiwa tekkōjo / Oiwa Iron Works had been manufacturing pivotal type casters in Japan since the late 19th or early 20th century. The first Thompson had been imported into Japan in 1909. In 1926, Oiwa began manufacturing a copy of the Thompson.

In 1933 this machine evolved into the Oiwa Automatic Type Caster (see below) and was the basis for the early manufacturing of Koike.

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Man-Nen Type Caster (Rin-Eisha, 1926)

The 万年活字鋳造機 / Man nen katsuji chūzō ki / "Million Year" Type Casting Machine. Produced by the Rin-Eisha ( 林栄社 ) Company. This was the first commercially successful non-composing typecaster sold to typefounders and printers which was an original Asian design rather than an adaptation of a foreign model. As such, it is one of the most important typecaster designs worldwide. It was produced from 1926 through the end of commercial typecaster production [when? it was still for sale in 1975 and was probably produced even later].

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

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Sudo Automatic Type Caster (1926)

Japan. Founded as the 須藤鉄工所 / Sudō tekkōjo / Sudo Iron Works Co. (other minor variations on this name through at least 1959). Called the 「須藤式自動鋳造機」 / "Sudō-shiki jidō chūzō-ki" / Sudo Automatic Type Casting Machine. It is not simply a copy of the Thompson, but it does have something of the flavor of a slightly heftier Thompson about it.

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Banno Type Caster (Circa 1926)

Manufactured by the 日本タイプライター / Nihon taipuraitâ / Nippon (Japan) Typewriter Company. This is the company co-founded by Sugimoto in 1915, which had then produced a typecaster in conjunction with his Japanese-language typewriter. There is no evidence to show (or deny) any link between the commecially produced Banno machine and the 1915/1917 Sugimoto machine. "Banno" ( 能活字鋳造機 ) means "universal" or "multifunctional."

The Banno employs a pivoting matrix carrier (like the 1925 Monobe patent, and like the Man-Nen). It could cast from Thompson-style flat mats.

But note that some sources date the Banno to 1934.

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Ikegai (1927)

Made by the 池貝鉄工所 / Ikegai tekkōjo /Ikegai Iron Works. Said to be a Thompson-derivative. Production ceased by 1935.

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Tokyo Mfg. Co. Caster

In Tokyo. Said to be a copy of the Thompson {Robundo Column 001}. But right-hand delivery. 東京機械製造 / Tōkyō kikai seizō / Tokyo Manufacturing Co.

At present I know nothing more about this machine. Also, I do not know if there is a relationship between this Tokyo Manufaturing Co. and the Tokyo Manufacturing Company which made the F.A.M. Composing Typecaster in the 1960s.

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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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Oiwa Automatic Type Caster (1933)

This caster was a development of the 1926 Oiwa Thompson-based caster, introduced after a (very young) KOIKE Rinpei joined the Oiwa Iron Works. It included his mechanism for trimming the other two sides of the type (a standard Thompson trims only two of the four sides). It was produced in limited numbers (due to the Great Depression and the small size of the Oiwa firm). Oiwa himself died unexpectedly in 1937. His firm was continued by his family, with Koike managing, until investors bought it out in 1939 and renamed it the ダイヤモンド機械製作所 / Daiyamondo kikai seisakusho / Diamond Machinery Works. But commercial typecaster production had been curtailed in 1938 as industry was rationalized for the war effort; the Diamond Machinery Works made aircraft components. A few Oiwa Automatic Type Casters may have been sold to the Japanese Navy after 1939, but it is unclear what name they might have been sold under.

In 1941, KOIKE Rinpei, with the permission of the owners of Diamond Machinery Works, took the design of the Oiwa Automatic Type Caster and began building machines for the Japanese Navy for cryptographic codebook production. (See the 1941/1947 origins of the Koike firm for further discussion.)

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Morikawa Ryobundo Type Foundry

Japan. By 1935. 森川龍文堂活版印刷所 / Morikawa Ryobundo Type Foundry, Osaka. A 1935 catalog offered for sale caster which they claimed to be of their own manufacture. These included a pivotal and an Automatic Type Casting Machine. The latter look suspiciously like the Man-Nen, though. It employs a curved leftward type delivery path.

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Tanabe (maybe 1930s?)

Date unknown. 田辺製作所 / Tanabe seisakusho / Tanabe Mfg. Co. A simplified caster at a reduced price. Production later taken over [when? maybe post-WWII?] by the Isumi Company.

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Shirota (1936)

千代田式 / Chiyoda-shiki / Shirota [Chiyoda] machine ( 千代田印 刷機製造株 ). By the 式会社 / ? / Shirota [Chiyoda] Printing Machine Manufacturing, Ltd. Said to be an "Automatic" casting machine. Nothing further known about it so far.

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Tanigughi (1936)

谷口式 / Taniguchi-shiki / Taniguchi machine. By the 谷口鉄工所 / Taniguchi tekkōjo / Tanaguchi Iron Works Co. Said to be a simplified and low-priced machine.

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Jianye Standard Type Caster (by 1937)

In Shanghai, China, by 1937. A copy of the Foucher. By Jianye Machine Ltd ( 建業機器製造有限公司 ). Called the "Standard Type Caster” (Biaozhun zhuziji 標準鑄字機 )

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Ruitai Model Automatic Type Caster (by 1937)

In Shanghai, China, by 1937. By the Ruitai machine factory ( 瑞泰機器廠 ). Called the “Model automatic type caster” (Mofan zidong zhuziji 模範自動鑄字機 ).

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Diamond Machinery Works (1939)

Japan. This was the successor to the long-established Oiwa Iron Works (see several entries above, including the 1933 Oiwa Automatic Type Caster). Commercial type caster production had been curtailed in 1938 by the war, but the Diamond Machinery Works might have sold a few machines to the Japanese Navy. From this point the Oiwa caster historical thread moves to the 1941 activities of KOIKE Rinpei (see "1941/1947 Koike Company Origins," below).

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Chong Shing (by 1940)

In Shanghai, attested by 1940. A Thompson copy, derived from the pre-Monotype Thompson. "Chong Shing" is in the Wade-Giles romanization system. Today 昌興機器製造廠 (traditional Chinese) / 昌兴机器制造厂 (simplified Chinese) would be renderedin pinyin as Chāng xìng jīqì zhìzào chǎng / Changxing Machinery Factory.....

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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 Company Origins

The thread of type machinery development which begins with the training of Okawa as a blacksmith and gunsmith in Tokugawa Japan continued through the machines of the Oiwa Iron Works and concludes with Koike company and advanced machines such as the K.M.T. Fully Automated Composing Typecaster (a few of which are or were running in the 21st century). It is the longest continuous history of typecaster development in Asia, and it produced the most diverse range of products. The founding of the Koike company, heir to the earlier works of Okawa and Oiwa, occurred in very difficult circumstances and requires a section on its own, as business history.

In 1933, 小池林平 / KOIKE Rinpei (1915-1996) joined the Oiwa Iron Works (at a very young age) and contributed to the Oiwa Automatic Type Caster (a Thompson-derivative with additional mechanisms for fully dressing types). This was produced in quantities limited both by the Great Depression and the small size of the Oiwa Iron Works. In 1937, Oiwa himself died and the company passed to his family, assisted by Koike. In 1938, commercial typecaster production was curtailed due to the war. In 1939, the Oiwa Iron Works was bought out by investors and was involved in manufacturing aircraft components as the Diamond Machinery Works. It may have sold a few casters to the Japanese Navy.

But in 1941 the Japanese Navy required additional typecasters for the production of cryptographic codebooks. So, with the permission of the owners of the Diamond Machinery Works, Koike took the Oiwa Automatic Type Caster design and began manufacturing it at a Japanese Navy artillery base.

After the war, Koike continued. The Koike company was incorporated as a joint stock company in 1947. Their first products were released in 1949: The Koike Automatic Type Caster (based on the Oiwa A.T.C., of course) and, as an entirely new engineering effort, a stripcasting machine employing Elrod continous-casting technology.

The Koike company produced a wide range of products, including:

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Zhonggang (1940s)

I the 1940s (which must mean after 1945 but before the beginning of the PRC in 1949, I would guess), 中鋼機器廠 [traditional] / 中钢机器厂 [simplified] /Zhōng gāng jīqì chǎng / China Steel Machinery Factory made "poor quality imitations" of the Thompson.

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Jing'an (1940s)

In the 1940s (again, guessing 1945-1949) 精安機器廠 [traditional] / 精安机器 [simplified] / Jīng ān jīqì chǎng / Precision Machinery Factory made "poor quality imitations" of the Thompson.

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Hefengyong Thompson Copy (1940s)

In the 1940s (presumably 1945-1949, pre-PRC), 和豐湧印刷材料製造廠 [traditional] / 和丰涌印刷材料制造厂 [simplified] / Hé fēng yǒng yìnshuā cáiliào zhìzào chǎng / Hefengyong Printing Materials Factory made "poor quality" copies of the Thompson.

But the Hefengyong factory went on to produce other (more successful) typecasters. Also, having by then become the 陕西咸阳铸字机厂 (simplified, 陝西咸陽鑄字機廠 traditional), Shǎnxī xiányáng zhùzì jī chǎng / Shaanxi Xianyang Type Caster Factory they co-developed the ZSY-101 ( 型手動鑄排機 ) Composing Typecaster.

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Izumi [date unkown, probably post-WWII]

ook over production of the Tanabe caster (date unknown). Production continued until 1961 (Showa 36).

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The Unicast

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

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Taiyo (1947/8)

The 太陽鋳造機 / Taiyō chūzō-ki / Taiyo (or "Sun") Casting Machine. Manufactured in Mitaka City (near Tokyo) by the 太陽機械製作所 / Taiyōkikaiseisakusho / Sun Machinery Works. On the market for 4 to 5 years.

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Iwahashi (1947/8)

Iwahashi Machine Company ( 岩橋機械 ). Short-lived.

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Acme Type Caster (Japan, 1947-1955)

アクメ / Akume / Acme type caster. Made by the 島津製作所 / Shimadzu seisakusho / Shimadzu Corp., Tokyo. Finished type delivered to the right (western-style) not to the left.

This machine presents a puzzle. Most non-pivotal typecasters in Japan were either based on the Thompson (which delivered type to the left even as designed in Chicago) or were original designs (which tended to deliver type to the left based on habits of reading direction in Japanese). But several of the more important western "automatic" type casters, such as the Foucher or its derivative the Barth, delivered type to the right. The Foucher, in particular, had been copied in China in the 1930s.

It would make no sense at all to change the direction of type delivery of a Thompson in Japan. It would be interesting to know if the "Acme" caster was based on a western design such as the Foucher or was an original design. At present, no further details or illustrations are known.

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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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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.

This Notebook will cover the Koike Automatic Type Caster (only). For the history of the origins of the Koike company, and for pointers to its diverse range of typecasting machinery, see the "1941/1947 Origins of the Koike Company," above.

See also the Koike Fully Automatic Caster, below.

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Sudo SU-51 and SU-52 Models (1952)

大型活字自動鋳造機 . For large type. These two models may have been introduced in 1952, but I'm not sure that I'm reading the machine-translation of my source correctly.

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ZD-101 (China, 1950s)

People's Republic of China. ZD-101 ( 型鑄字機 ). Body sizes below 5.25 pt. [ doublecheck this - that's very small type! ]

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ZD-201 (China, 1958)

An upgraded copy of the Japanese Man-Nen caster (by Rin-Eisha). It was designed to cast size 1 and size 2 types (up to 28 point). Body sizes from 5.25 to 28 point. 13 to 136 casts/minute. I am indebted to Victor Thibout for his translations here.

In 1970s (at least) produced in Nanjing by the Nanjing workmen/peasants/soldiers wrist-watch shells factory ( 南京工農兵表殼廠 ). Also produced at other times, possibly in more locations.

A least 20,000 ZD-201 casters were built. This may be a higher production figure than any other specific model of dedicated type caster. (The only one which might come close would be the Monotype Type-&-Rule Caster; production figures for other successful machines are in the hundreds to the low thousands.

The ZD-201 was later developed into a "fully automatic" version, the ZD-201A (see below).

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Hefengyong "Automatic" Type Casters

People's Republic of China. Dates unknown. Hefengyong had in the 1940s produced copies of the Thompson.

Also, having by then become the 陕西咸阳铸字机厂 (simplified, 陝西咸陽鑄字機廠 traditional), Shǎnxī xiányáng zhùzì jī chǎng / Shaanxi Xianyang Type Caster Factory they co-developed the ZSY-101 ( 型手動鑄排機 ) Composing Typecaster.

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ZD-301 (China, circa 1958)

Body sizes from 28 to 48 point. 6 to 20 casts/minute.

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ZD-201A

This was a "fully automatic" development of the ZD-201, with automatic matrix changing, automatic type-stacking, automatic feeding, and automatic temperature control. The date of introduction is not yet known.

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ZD-401 (China, 1968)

Body sizes from 48 to 81 point (some sources say 45 point and up). Only one batch of machines was produced.

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Hua-Nan (Taiwan, [maybe 1950s?]

Huanan (i.e. "South China") Type Foundry ( 華南鑄字廠 ), Taipei. Run by Zhou Guangren ( 周廣仁 ). The company is known to have printed books in the 1950s, but the date of its production of a type caster, if indeed it did produce one, is unknown. Taiwan. [See Rimmer, Jim. "Typefounding in Vancouver's Chinatown." ATF Newsletter No. 13 (April 1990): 6-13.]

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Rin-Eisha Auto-Caster

Japan, 1963. Ôtokyasutâ zenjidô katsuji chûzôki / オートキャスター全自動活字鋳造機 . A "fully automatic" version of the Rin-Eisha "Man-Nen" Automatic Type Caster. With, by 1975, at least automatic type stacking and external electronic control.

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Hakko Full-Automatic Casting Machine

Japan, by 1966. Zenjidô chûzôki serufuderashikusu ( 全自動鋳造機セルフデラシクス ) / Hakko Full-Automatic Casting Machine.

Note that this machine lacks the prominent curved cast-iron front guard of the "regular" Hakko Automatic Type Caster.

Casting range: 3 - 18 point. Casting rate: 1,500 to 9,600 types/hour. Main motor: 1/4 HP. Heat source: 2.5 KW, gas. Dimensions: 1,220 mm (W) x 800 mm (D) x 1,430 mm (H). Weight: 450 kg.

A good argument can be made that the Hakko Full-Automatic Type Caster, equipped with automatic matrix changing, automatic type stacking, type dressing on all four sides, and jet recycling into the pot, represents the high point of development of type casting machinery worldwide. About the only thing it couldn't do is accomodate easily the variable set width of western types. At least one was in operation until at least 2012 (and possibly today?), at 有限会社佐々木活字店 / Sasaki Print Shop Co., Ltd., Tokyo. The youtube video of it in operation is stunning.

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Koike Fully Automatic Type Caster ([date unknown])

Japan. Zenjidô katsuji chûzôki ( 全自動活字鋳造機 ).

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San Yih (Taiwan, 1960-1970s)

"San Yih ( 三益 ) produced casters in Taichung city from roughly 1960 to the end of the 1970s." They are derivatives of the Hakko.

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Yo Hang (Taiwan, maybe mid-1960s?)

A copy of the Hakko.

One survives in the National Science and Technology Museum in Kaohsiung City. {

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Takwan (Taiwan, [dates unknown]

Taiwan. Takwan ( 大光 ), Hakko derivatives.

Victor Thibout remarks: Even the Takwan logo was copied from Hakko! It really was a play on words, actually, as Hakko ( 八光 ) is pronounced “Baguang” in Mandarin, and Takwan ( 大光 ) is pronounced “Daguang”. Baguang/Daguang…"

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Undated and "Mystery" Machines

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Unidentified Machine at Fengyi Printing Office

A photograph of a typecaser which doesn't quite look like any others I've seen appears in a Master's degree dissertation by HSU Cheng-kun in 2001 at National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, Taiwan. Further research by Victor Thibout indicates that it is at the Fengyi printing office in Chiayi, Taiwan.

徐成坤 / Hsu Cheng-Kun. 凸版印刷之鉛字製作研究 / Study of Type Producing for Relief Printing. Thesis, for Master of Design in Visual Communication Design. Douliu, Yunlin, Taiwan, Republic of China: National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, 2001. Note that in the English translation of the Chinese-language title page (which appears as page two of this thesis), there is an error in the title. It says "Phototype Print" when in fact "Relief Printing" is meant. (I am, once again, indebted to Victor Thibout for catching this error - and also for bringing this thesis to my attention.)

No technical information is available about it, but it is possible, especially given its location in Hsu's thesis, that it might be a caster adapted for use with multi-character electroformed matrix blocks.

[click image to go to page]

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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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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.

[click image to read]

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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.