Categories
History of Lettering Monotype Composition caster printing Thoughts on lettering typography

In honour of a decade: number 5

Two years ago I posted about a film describing the Monotype works.

Monotype composition caster
Monotype composition caster

This photo is of the caster I owned in the 1990s, working from a workshop in Bromley, Kent, UK. I have written about my exploits here.

To finish off this tribute to hot metal follow this link to another video showing the machine in action and sounding wonderful.

Categories
lettering, typography, alphabets, stonework Thoughts on lettering typography

Monotype Pitt: help required in tracing: help found and update

In The Monotype Recorder vol 36, no. 3 [December 1937], the Fortieth Birthday Number is a report on the Fifty Books of 1936: the type faces used.

Monotype Recorder 1937
The Monotype Recorder

Reading through the list I came across reference to Monotype Pitt (private). The text speaks of ‘the Pitt 8vo Bible of the Cambridge University Press, which was designed with special reference to the requirements of schools’.

While I am aware of the tradition of CUP for its Pitt Bible series, as well as the Pitt Building, in the town, I have never come across a type face so named. Can anyone throw light on this?

Monotype Pitt
Monotype Pitt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following Marvin’s answer to my question I am pleased to show this page from my copy of the Monotype Type Faces, dated [bottom left] 9-63:

Times Roman semi bold 421
Times Series 421

 

Categories
Monotype Composition caster

The Monotype Corporation: a film from the 1950s

On the same site as the film about Linotype [PrintingFilms.com] comes this showing the Monotype Corporation in its heyday. It describes the journey to Salfords,

Monotype factory from the air
From ‘Monotype’ Machines in the Making [undated, ?mid-1960s]
near Redhill, then takes you in to the works, more a town than a factory. I love the scene of the brass band playing, the sense of order and calm attention to detail. [Scroll down to Newest Additions…]

The Monotype Corporation

Also check out The Museum of Printing

And as an aside, I too have my own film recently digitised about The Beeches Press, including footage of the Caster I then owned in action. One day I too will get around to uploading it to the web.

Categories
History of Lettering printing Thoughts on lettering

Linotype: how it works

I was always a Monotype man. The Linotype never much interested me. Until now. Here is this link to a fascinating and informative historical video.

Categories
History of Lettering Thoughts on lettering

The Noblest Roman

The Book Club of California has just published  The Noblest Roman: A History of the Centaur Types of Bruce Rogers by Jerry Kelly and Misha Beletsky ‘an immersive dive into the history of the Centaur typeface, complete with rarely seen drawings and proofs from the Monotype archives and the Library of Congress’. Do check it out….

For more on Bruce Rogers see my post herecentaur jenson

Categories
Monotype Composition caster

Answer to Christmas Quiz 2015

No, the Quiz 2015 did not show an organ. I quite simply do not understand how no one got that this is an illustration of the Monotype Keyboard piston block. Wasn’t it obvious. Shame on you! Taken from the essential Book of Parts, dated 9/56. [Better luck next year.]

Monotype Keyboard Monotype Keyboard Piston Block

Categories
Brand design Elements of Lettering lettering printing typography

Ashley Havinden, Ashley Crawford and Neuland

A reader recently identified the typeface I commented upon in this post as being Ashley Crawford, and not Neuland as I had then speculated. Thank you Marvin.

The face was designed by Ashley Havinden, Ashley Havindena noted designer of that period and produced by Monotype as Series 238 and 279 (the later for the plain font). Image from Encyclopaedia of Typefaces, Ashley Havinden_0001Blandford Press, 1953 as in my copy of Specimens of the Type Faces, Borders, Ornaments, Rules and Other Material cast on ‘Monotype’ Type Composing and Casting Machines, The Monotype Corporation, n.d it is not included, although ‘single specimen sheets…may be obtained on application’.

This is another of his works for the London store Simpson, taken from Modern Publicity 1942-48, The Studio Publications.Ashley Havinden_0004

To correct the earlier misinterpretation here is Neuland used in another ad (taken from The Typography of Newspaper Advertisements, Meynell, F, 1929).

Ashley Havinden_0002Ashley Havinden_0003

Categories
History of Lettering Monotype Composition caster

History of the Monotype Corporation

For UK readers and those nearby – There will be a book launch on Thursday 13 November 2014 from 6pm at St Bride’s.

Go to http://vanbrughpress.com/events/

(The following images from my own archive.)

Monotype in the making_0001Monotype in the making

Monotype in the making_0002

Categories
lettering Thoughts on lettering

‘Has any writer, who is not a typewriter, succeeded in being wholly impersonal?’

Written by Virginia Woolf in the essay Craftsmanship (1937).  She is writing of how words convey so many fleeting images that it is difficult to disassociate from the living author. She continues: ‘Only after the writer is dead do his words to some extent become disinfected, purified of the accidents of the living body’. It is a fine essay and much deserving to be read entire. My copy comes from The Death of the Moth and Other Essays (Penguin, 1961), though the original edition was published in 1942 (Hogarth Press).

As much as I admire Woolf as a writer it is her reference to the typewriter that got me thinking. 14_08_25_Typewriter_0001Got me thinking just as I chanced across a book in a charity shop on Shorthand and Typewriting (International Correspondence Schools, London, n.d) from which the accompanying illustrations are taken. It, too, is a good read (in parts). For instance there is vital information on Establishing a Copying Office: ‘Many typists find it profitable to conduct a copying office. Even in the smallest towns there is a great deal of typewriting work to be obtained from lawyers, clerks of courts, architects, contractors, merchants, doctors, authors, ministers, politicians, and others, whose patronage may be secured by soliciting their orders through the medium of a perfectly typed letter and price list. It is often possible to make arrangements with the owner of an office whereby the typist can have a desk in the office in exchange for certain services as a shorthand-typist. In this way a connection may be worked up without much expense.’ Sound advice.

14_08_25_TypewriterAnd in the business section this: ‘A married woman usually takes her husband’s Christian name, as Mrs William Dawson, unless the husband is the eldest son of the family, in which case she takes precedence and is addressed as Mrs Dawson’.

Got me thinking too about the history of the typewriter, an instrument that has played such an important role in the development of the industrial world. Among all my books I found scant mention. There must be a History somewhere, but I don’t have it and I am not so lazy as to do a web search. I much prefer to stumble across books in the bookstore, secondhand bookseller or, as with Shorthand and Typewriting, the charity shop. (See here for my post on the demise of the secondhand bookshop.)

However, not surprisingly Typewriter Art (I have mentioned this before and you can go to the post here) did gloss on the antecedents. ‘An American,’ it states, ‘Christoper Lathan Sholes, is widely held to be the inventor of the first practical typewriter. His machine, perfected in the early 1870s, was bought by E Remington & Sons, gunsmiths of Ilion, New York, and put on the market in 1874.’ It goes on to note that the introduction of the typewriter ‘… has transformed business and created the largest female workforce in history, the monstrous regiment of typewriters.’ Monotype TypewriterAnd while that ‘monstrous regiment’ may have passed into history what are computers but the modern equivalent, the keyboard the same, the drudgery not so different for many.

In the world of typography Monotype didn’t miss a trick and produced matrices in both the conventional and the IBM format as shown here.

Monotype Typewriter_0001

Categories
History of Lettering lettering, typography, alphabets, stonework

The Type Archive London

Follow this link to the fascinating, important and priceless Type Archive of London. The Type Archive holds the UK’s National Typefounding Collection, including material from Stephenson Blake, Monotype Corporation and wood letter patterns from Robert DeLittle. If you live in or near London the collection can be viewed in Lambeth.

Type Archive London