Goudy's E&PM Co. Pantograph

For Matrix Engraving

(And Sometimes Working Pattern Engraving)

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1. The E&PM Co. Pantographs

1.1. The Issue of this Machine's Identity

I don't believe that Goudy ever published the identity of his matrix-engraving pantograph. [1] This has led to a certain amount of misinformation as well as an occasional presumption that it was a Benton machine. It was not.

I am now quite certain that all three of the matrix engraving pantographs used by Goudy were made by the Engravers' and Printers' Machinery Company (of New York City and, later, Sag Harbor, NY) after a basic design patented by William S. Eaton in 1912. [2] Since the identity of these machines is of considerable historical importance (and also since their design has certain advantages of simplicity which might potentially be useful to anyone contemplating making matrices today), it is probably worthwhile reviewing what is known so as to help confirm this identification.

1.2. Tracing the Machine

First, to remove a potential red herring, I should note that Theo Rehak calls Goudy's matrix engraver a "Little Pioneer" in Practical Typecasting (p. 100). I have been unable, even with the aid of the almost-all-knowing Google, to find any reference to a "Little Pioneer" pantograph engraving machine other than that in Practical Typecasting. Unless "Little Pioneer" should turn out to be an as-yet-unknown model designation used by the Engravers' and Printers' Machinery Company, I think that this identification must be discounted.

We know that Goudy's first matrix engraving pantograph was an adaptation of a commercially manufactured machine. [3] We also know that the commercial machine from which it was adapted was readily available (and not a one-off machine of custom manufacture). We know this because eventually he had three.

He had two that he used in his Deepdene studio prior to its destruction by fire in 1939. [4]. Both machines are visible in the photograph of Goudy engraving matrices in Typologia (p. 109) - so much so that it can be hard to distinguish parts of one from another. Both machines are also shown, at least partially, in the photograph reproduced on pp. 90-91 of Bruckner's biography of Goudy (1990). (One of the E&PM Co. machines, with its vertical round column, is visible behind the pantograph bar mechanism of Goudy's Deckel pantograph. The distinctive square table of a second machine is just visible in the lower left corner of the photograph.)

After the 1939 fire, Goudy obtained as a replacement machine from Syracuse University (who had acquired it on his recommendation); this one is clearly a very similar model. It is shown in Boone's 1942 article and on p. 28 in Bruckner's biography of Goudy (1990). [5]

We know that these machines cannot have been Benton machines. For one thing, they simply do not look like any Benton pantograph. Moreover, contemporary biographical accounts confirm that they were not. Beilenson ( The Story of Frederic W. Goudy) discusses the two machines at Deepdene prior to the 1939 fire. [6] He says that an actual ATF Benton engraver would have been "outside of consideration because of its price" (p. 58) Actually, I'm not sure that at this time ATF would have sold a Benton pantograph at any price [7].

Beilenson continues: "At an industrial exposition an engraving machine for another type of work was found, and with alterations and additions it has proved accurate and efficient. Later this first engraving machine was supplemented by another of superior construction." (p. 59) I believe that "superior construction" in this case indicates simply a slightly improved version of the same basic E&PM Co. machine, not a machine of different type or manufacture.

Goudy's own description of the provenance of these machines is sketchy and possibly contradictory. He says in his Dolphin article that "The matrix-engraving machine I use, similar in principle to others of like purpose, and also a development of their common predecessor, the punch-cutting machine, contains an upright pantograph..." (p. 21) But in Typologia , while quoting there most of this same description, he says also "The matrix-engraving machine which I found entirely satisfactory was not primarily made for such work, but with a few alterations which the manufacturer kindly made for me at my request..." (p. 111)

To dispose of a second possible red herring: Goudy's matrix pantograph bears a superficial resemblance to the original style of Benton pantograph, primarily because they both employ a single round column. However, they are kinematically quite different from each other.

Benton's first style of machine was designed to cut patrices (later punches) using a cutter spindle fixed rigidly to the body of the machine below the patrix/punch blank ( the cutter faces upwards). The tracer traces a right-reading relief pattern and moves the patrix/punch blank against the stationary cutting-head to cut a wrong-reading relief patrix/punch. The pantograph is constructed as a vertical lever suspended on gimbals with the workpiece partway down it and the tracer at its lower end. [8].

Goudy's machine was designed to cut matrices. While it also using a cutter spindle fixed rigidly to the the machine, in its case the spindle was mounted above the matrix blank (the cutter face downwards). The tracer traced a right-reading intaglio pattern and moved the matrix blank (planchet) against the stationary cutting-head to cut a right-reading intaglio matrix. The pantograph is constructed as a vertical lever, but it is gimballed at an (adjustable) midpoint; the worktable is at its upper end and the tracer is at its lower end.

1.3. Positive Identification

At left, below, is the best public domain published photograph of Goudy's matrix engraving pantograph. (from Advertising and Selling (1939) . At right is an illustration of an Engravers' and Printers' Machinery Company rotary engraving pantograph (from American Machinist. Vol. 51, No. 1 (July 3, 1919): 41. [9]. Although each is from a different angle, they both clearly show the same model of machine.

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Just for completeness... This pantograph is also shown in this rather soft-focus illustration from Ars Typographica (1934) [10].

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1.4. Mechanism

The distinctive mechanism of this pantograph is perhaps better seen in this illustration of a related model [11]:

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This is a drag-engraving (vs. rotary engraving) version of the E&PM Co. machine. The only substantial difference between it and Goudy's machines is the engraving head; the pantograph and worktable mechanisms are identical in both. Its most distinctive feature is the support of the worktable on three large balls (two at the front of the machine and one at the rear). This was the primary feature of Eaton's US patent 1,039,714 (1912). No other pantograph of this period (or indeed any that I know of from any period) had this mechanism.

1.5. Removable Spindle

(See the chapter on Cutter Sharpening -> The Principle of the Removable Spindle for a discussion of the importance of this features.)

Goudy's E&PM Co. pantographs have removable spindles. (Whether this was a standard feature of the machine or, more likely, one of the modifications Goudy requested I do not know.) Like those of the first Benton machine, these spindles are basically watchmaker's lathe headstocks. [12]

Several photographs, particularly in Boone and Typologia, show this entire cutting head removed for cutting-tool sharpening and inspection. (Unfortunately, no public domain photographs of which I am aware show any of the removed spindles or the cutter-sharpening arrangements.)

2. A Puzzle

There is an apparent puzzle, however, in two of the published illustrations of Goudy at one of his his E&PM Co. pantographs.

Boone's 1942 article both describes and shows Goudy doing both stages of engraving (master pattern to working pattern, and then working pattern to matrix) on the same vertical-style engraver. Yet in other sources Goudy clearly uses a Deckel horizontal-format pantograph for working patterns.

The solution to this puzzle is to be found in Goudy's discussion of his Scripps College Old Style in Goudy's A Half-Century of Type Design and Typography: 1895-1945, Volume 2 (NY: The Typophiles, 1946): 226-227. Recall that Goudy's shop burned in 1939, destroying his equipment. Soon after, machine tools became scarce and important resources in the War effort. Pantograph engravers were quite important machine tools at the time (Gorton even made a specialized Munitions Engraver). Goudy says that "a year or so after the fire" he was able to acquire a matrix engraving machine from Syracuse University. However, he was not able to acquire the necessary authorization to obtain another industrial pantograph engraver for working pattern engraving until September 1943. He says that he was able to do working pattern engraving on his matrix engraver, but that to "engrave such metal work patterns on a machine intended for matrix engraving ... proved a difficult problem, requiring great care in handling and a much longer time than if the work could have been done on a suitable machine." (227) Boone's article dates from 1942, right in the middle of this difficult period.

This also illuminates another photographic mystery. One of the best published photographs of Goudy at his vertical pantograph is the one from the Library of Congress collection published on pp. 28-29 of Bruckner's biography of Goudy (1990). Bruckner's caption on this photograph is technically accurate, but insufficient. It says that it is Goudy at his matrix-engraving machine, which is true. But he is not engraving a matrix. The pattern in use is quite clearly a master pattern. Goudy must therefore be using this machine to engrave a working pattern, not a matrix.

3. Notes

1. I'm also pretty sure that it they have never been identified, correctly, in the secondary literature; at least I have seen no correct identification.

2. US patent 1,039,714 issued 1912-10-1. See the CircuitousRoot Notebook on Eaton and Related Pantographs for further discussion of the rather complicated history of the various pantograph engraving machines related to Eaton.

3. Goudy tells us this in Typologia , p. 111.

4. Beilenson ( The Story of Frederic W. Goudy) says that his "first engraving machine was supplemented by another of superior construction." (p. 59) Beilenson's account was written for The Inland Printer in 1933/1934 and reprinted as a book in 1939. My reference is to the 1939 book. I haven't as yet tracked down the 1933/1934 publication, so I do not know if it contains this material (which would give a terminus ante quem for Goudy's acquisition of his second pantograph).

5. See "A Puzzle," later in this present chapter, for a discussion of the reasons this pantograph is shown engraving working patterns as well as matrices in Boone's article.

6. The 1939 revision of Beilenson came out within a couple of months after the Deepdene fire. This is too soon for Goudy to have acquired his ex-Syracuse machine, so Beilenson's references must all be to the pre-fire Deepeden machines.

7. Particularly to the Art Director for Lanston Monotype.

8. US patent NO. 332,990, issued 1885-12-22 to Linn Boyd Benton, "Punch-Cutting Machine." (One should never, ever use an 'H' or other symmetrical letter to illustrate a pantograph!) See also the CircuitousRoot Notebooks on Benton's Vertical Pantographs.

9. See the CircuitousRoot Notebooks on Benton's Vertical Pantographs for a reproduction of the entire article from American Machinist.

10. From Goudy, Frederic W. "Type Design: A Homily" In Ars Typographica Vol. 1, No. 4 (Autumn, 1934): 3-27. This is in three parts, "I. The Force of Tradition." "II. Type, What It Is." "III. The Technique of Type Engraving." The illustration reprinted here appears on p. 15.

11. Salade, Robert F. Plate Printing and Die Stamping. (NY: Oswald Publishing Company, 1917). This book has been digitized by the Library of Congress and is available in full on The Internet Archive at: http://www.archive.org/details/plateprintingdie00sala/. See the CircuitousRoot Notebook on Eaton and Related Pantographs for an extract of the section of this book concerning this machine.

12. Later Benton machines, as well as other machines such as matrix engravers by Gorton employed a removable spindle which might be better described as a sort of "cartridge" or cylindrical unit.

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