10559Re: [PPLetterpress] Re: U.S. type foundries
- Mar 3, 2009...Last type foundry using hard metal.
...last type foundry using foundry casters
A type foundry is a place where metal is melted and cast in a mold. The
Monotype system can accurately be described as a complete type foundry.
Claims of type founders regarding the hardness and quality of their type are
notoriously suspect. Keystone claimed to be the inventors and sole makers of
Nickel-Alloy Type. Barnhart Bros & Spindler made Superior Copper Mixed Type.
The amount of those metals in type was probably negligible. Only a few
foundries ever actually revealed the proportions of the various metals used in
Type metal varies from soft to hard, to brittle, depending on the relative
quantities of lead, tin, and antimony. Considering just the inherent hardness
of the metal, Dale Guild metal is essentially the same as type made from
recycled ATF metal. So even the occasional casting done here at Denver Back Alley
Type uses "hard metal." The type offered by Skyline type, also, is cast with
hard metal, essentially identical to the metal used at Dale Guild.
The key differences, besides the metal formula, are the casting machines
involved and the knowledge and attention of the worker, and the protocols being
followed such as casting speed and temperature and adjustments to the
machinery. A Barth caster, and a Thompson caster for that matter, will make harder
type than my antique Monotype because they cast with greater pressure. But I
expect any type I cast will out-live me.
While Stephenson Blake described itself as The Last of the Old English Type
Founders, Mouldtype's monotype was The Best in Any Case. While MacKellar,
Smiths & Jordan accurately claimed status as the Oldest American Type Foundry,
anyone who casts type today might honorably be described as Successor to
Gutenberg and Garamond.
At Now It's Up To You, we cast type out of thin air.
Tom Parson/ Now It's Up To You/ Denver Back Alley Type Foundry
157 S Logan, Denver CO 80209
(720) 480-5358 cellphone
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