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10539Re: [PPLetterpress] Re: U.S. type foundries

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  • David McNamara
    Feb 28, 2009

      Apologies in advance if this is inappropriate, but...since you're casting, and you're hurting for money, would you cast for cash? Or are you on a strict apprenticeship (where you'd be stepping on toes if you sold work)?

      Just a thought.


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: alex brooks
      To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sunday, March 01, 2009 2:31 AM
      Subject: Re: [PPLetterpress] Re: U.S. type foundries

      Yes, the difference is in the metal, the matrix, and the typecaster
      (and I guess, the type-castor).

      Monotype metal is much softer than foundry - try to break a sort in
      half and you'll see the difference. It's also true that as type
      increase in point size the metal decreases in hardness.

      The matrix is also different, the depth of drive on foundry matrices
      is deeper, allowing for a deeper shoulder, more kerning, stronger
      face, etc.

      The most important difference in typecasters is in pressure and in
      speed. A monotype caster may be as fast as a barth caster, but it
      does not create the same amount of pressure at the point of casting.
      This is responsible for the hardness and solidity of foundry type as
      much as the metal. You can put hard metal in a Thompson caster, and
      use Barth matrices in a Thompson, but it won't be quite the same as
      Barth cast type. When M&H says they are using foundry metal, they are
      actually using harder metal in Thompson Monotype casters, probably
      still not as hard as Barth metal.
      There are foundry machines other than the Barths: pivotals, as well
      as euro & asian automatics. The pivotals cast very good type but take
      more courage. They can be automatic or hand cranked, but they still
      can't cast type as fast as a Barth, and the sorts require much more
      finishing (by hand) after casting. And there are some folks out there
      making type by hand, with hand molds, but this is obviously a slow
      method of production.

      I think monotype is great if you can cast the type, print with it in
      house, and melt it down - Like M&H and Arion press operate. This was
      the intended function for a monotype caster. (I particularly like the
      computer operated setup that some have engineered to replace the
      keyboard & paper tape that monotype casters run on) But for a printer
      who does not cast her own type, Monotype does not equal Foundry type
      in quality and durability.

      There are foundries working in Europe and in Japan, and in India
      (maybe other places), but in America, the Dale Guild is the only
      Commercial Type Foundry with a capital 'F'. I in no way wish to
      disparage any monotype castors, or anyone who is giving their hard
      work and spirit to making type. Most of these folks have been doing
      it for many years before I was born and know more than I will
      probably ever learn, but I've told you what I know.

      NA Graphics sells Dale Guild type (and is a great supporter of the
      foundry) and you can buy from the Dale Guild directly.
      Greg Walters, in Piqua OH, owns some of the ATF Barth casters, but
      I'm not sure if he uses them to cast type.
      Howard Bratter, in Brooklyn, is currently selling a complete set-up
      of multiple automatic pivotals, imported from the UK.

      Interestingly, one reason there are so few true foundry typecasters
      in America is the consolidation of all the American typefoundries
      into ATF. ATF literally owned every single automatic caster in
      America until their close, and then they were all sold to a few
      buyers, or they were scrapped. In Japan, for comparison, there was
      never any consolidation, and today there are at least 6 working
      typefoundries in Tokyo alone, as well as more in other cities. The
      downside: they all have their own proprietary type height (e.g. - no .

      I'm sure i've left something out, or said something wrong, i'm tired.
      If anyone wants to know more, I can answer any other questions tomorrow.

      also, Gerald, I would never melt down your Claudius Fraktur, although
      one day I will acquire your Dominante (not for smelting though, for

      press eight seventeen - lexington letterpress

      On Mar 1, 2009, at 12:51 AM, Gerald Lange wrote:

      > Lisa
      > The birth right is the matrix, but more the casting machine. M&H may
      > label their material as foundry cast type (didn't all Monotype
      > casters?), but it is not (at least not in the definitive definition of
      > the term).
      > Gerald
      > http://BielerPress.blogspot.com
      > >
      > > >Alex was referring to foundry type. The others are (I think)
      > Monotype composition (except for NA Graphics's type, but Dale Guild is
      > their supplier, I believe); the foundry type Alex refers to is a
      > harder alloy (so, if you do send him your hell box, his needs are for
      > foundry type, not Monotype composition; the two are not
      > interchangeable, as far as I know.)
      > >
      > > Good point--sorry about taking "type foundry" too loosely--but M&H
      > does cast both monotype and foundry type--Kenny, are you lurking?
      > Please clarify if I'm wrong.
      > > Best,
      > > Lisa
      > > Littoral Press
      > .

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