In the halcyon days of ATF the largest, busiest, and most intriguing casting bays were those in the Hand and Steam Department. Here, side by side and row after row, were the hand-cranked pivotal casting machines and their powered "steamer" counterparts (driven from pulleys and flat belts) which could cast anything in a myriad of matrix-drives on 3- to 208-point bodies. (11)- Theo Rehak. Practical Typecasting. (p. 11).
The pivotal type caster (also called the Bruce type caster, after its inventor) was the most important type casting machine ever invented, and was one of the most important machines enabling the industrial revolution. Without it there simply would not have been enough type to print the information necessary for the great transformations in society and industry in the middle and later 19th century. It was also one of the primary enabling factors in the development of ornamented types in the 19th century. This allowed the printing industry to respond to the new pressures from lithography, and produced (as we can see now, having in part recovered from the aesthetic limitations of the generations from Morris to Morison) one of the finest periods of Artistic Printing and typography ever. The pivotal type caster remained in commercial use from the 1840s through the 1990s - and has been used for commercial typecasting in the 2010s - yet it remains very poorly understood.
A brief account of the pivotal type caster and its place in history.
A survey of the historical and technical literature on the pivotal or Bruce type casting machine (mostly references, with some reprints).
The "Discharging Pin" does not move (Bullen's description is entirely inaccurate).
"Choker" / "Joker" / "Jobber."
[NOT DONE] Controversies concerning the pivotal caster, both historical and technical.
[Lauritz Brandt] [Legros & Grant's claim against Bruce]
Our knowledge of the history of the pivotal type caster is not as certain as we might believe it to be. This is a chronological list of what we think we know and why we think we know it.
[NOT ONLINE (as not yet even remotely complete)] An informal international census of surviving pivotal type casting machines.
Principles of Operation
[NOT DONE] How a pivotal typecaster actually works, in detail.
Every machine should have an illustrated Parts List. Here, I'll develop such a list for my own pivotal caster. It should serve as a more or less representative list for similar machines.
[INCOMPLETE] For the logic and sources involved in establishing names for each of the parts, see the Principles of Operation, above.
[NOT DONE] Operating my pivotal type caster.
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