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Linotype/Monotype identification help

Started by David Bolton, September 10, 2022, 09:42:57 AM

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David Bolton

A university in Portugal is trying to identify some Linotype equipment.

Does anyone know who can identify the manufacture date of a Linotype model 78, serial 19084, made by L&M, Altrincham, Cheshire?

Does anyone know the typeface names, etc for Simoncini mats, coded S. Did Simoncini produce a Specimen Book?

Does anyone know who produced mats coded E, and with a 45 degree square symbol?

The mats came from various European foundries. I don't know if Stephen Austen produced Linotype mats, and if so, how they identified them. - they did produce Monotype ones, which often have SAS stamped on the sides.

Dave Hughes

Thanks for posting that David. Pedro has also been in touch with me and has another question:

QuoteMeanwhile, there is another issue: the fabrication year of 2 Monotypes, serials no. 71639 and 72639, both British.
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David Bolton

The Type Archive in London have the Monotype sales ledgers and can date any machine from its serial number. I have let Pedro know. But it would be nice to know if there is an equivalent source for Linotype machines. Reading University have some Linotype records, but I do not know if this includes machine sales.

Dave Hughes

This information on Simoncini mats has been posted on Letpress:

QuoteThat's correct. Simoncini mats have the point size, then a sideways S, then the ID code.

ST    Aster with Italic
SU   Aster with Bold
FG   Bodoni with Italic
4.5   Delia with Bold
6.8   Dominante with Bold
VX   Garamond with Italic
VZ   Garamond with Demibold
VJ   Garamond with Bold
LM   Ionic with Italic
LH   Ionic with Bold
16.17   Life with Italic
16.18   Life with Bold
9.10   Permanent with Italic (Cyrillic version is called Beograd)
9.13   Permanent with Bold (Cyrillic version is called Beograd)
13.12   Permanent Bold with Bold Italic
23.24   Selene with Italic
23.25   Selene with Bold
KN   Simplicitas with Bold
32.33   Simplified Arabic
1.2   Phonetic alphabet characters with italic (matches Aster)
1.3   Phonetic alphabet characters with bold (matches Aster)
29   Hebrew
21   Fraktur
Q   Greek
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Bruce Anderton

If you look at the distributor bar on the Model 78 there should be the month and year of manufacture stamped in the middle of it.

Bill Nairn

Shipping dates for Altrincham-made Intertypes, say that machine was shipped out around January 1949.

Dave Hughes

Quote from: Bill Nairn on September 14, 2022, 01:17:54 AMShipping dates for Altrincham-made Intertypes, say that machine was shipped out around January 1949.

Are you sure Bill? Information I've seen online says the "Seventy" series of Linotypes was introduced in 1959.
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Bruce Anderton

"Altrincham-made Intertypes" is a contradiction in terms, as of course such machines were made at Slough (until the very last days, when L&M took over the Intertype hot metal business). And in 1949 the Model 78 had not even been thought of!

Pedro Matos

Sorry about my delayed replay. And thank you all for your precious contributions!

About the Linotype age:
@Bruce Anderton :
we looked at the distributor bar but didn't find any numbers. Might we didn't see well? Is it possible for you to show a picture where we could see the right place? Or is it possible that the date might it be in some other place else?

There is tag with a date on the motor: 2/69. But we are not sure if the motor is original. What do you think?

Pedro Matos

About the Simoncini mats:
Special thanks to Phillip Driscoll, David Bolton and Dave Hughes for providing the matrix codes from Officine Simoncini. Meanwhile I had access to one (undated) Specimen Book from Simoncini and I can add a few details to the code list posted above:

Y   Greek italic
19   Calligraphic caps
22   Etruscan
CIR   Cyrillic characters (the code appears after the "regular" code, happening with Aster, Beograd and Selene typefaces)

In this Specimen Book there are many more special characters (math, music, meteo, etc.), each group with a code.
The face Permanent Condensed is advertised but uncoded.

Aparently, there are at least 2 specimen books published by the Officine (if not the same using different covers), both undated. We can see the covers here:
and here:

(or here:, in an article by one of the curators of the 2017 exhibition about the company)

Pedro Matos

About the E coded mats:
Another distinctive aspect of these mats is the red reference and font identification marks.
The faces look like Univers 57 Condensed and 67 Bold Condensed. According to the book "Adrian Frutiger Typefaces. The Complete Works", edited by Swiss Foundation Type and Typography, there were three versions of Univers for Line-casting machines: Matrotype (1967), Neotype (n/d) and Mergenthaler Linotype (1974). Considering these hypotheses:
Does anyone knows if Matrotype and/or Neotype have produced Linotype compatible matrices?
And/or Mergenthaler Linotype has used some other way of encoding, in the 1970s?
The other hypotesis is that the typeface is not Univers, but very similar or a copy. In that case, other possibilities appear...

Pedro Matos

About the 45 degree square code:
Dave Hughes as already confirmed that those are L&M mats. Great.
Nonetheless, we have Greek characters and would like to identify the exact typeface.
If anyone might have a list of codes and its matching faces, it would be excellent.

Pedro Matos

About the Monotypes:
Sallie Morris, from The Type Archive, is looking for information about the 2 Super Casters.

Thanks again for your support,

Bruce Anderton

@Pedro Matos The distributor bar is the V-bar right at the top of the machine which the matrices run along before dropping back into the magazine. If you pull open the cover which has the division bars which guide the matrices into their correct channels, then you should be able to see the numbers, which are usually centrally-placed, stamped into the straight edge on this bar.

Achilles Tzallas

Hello Pedro,
This is the first time I see this Greek typeface!
It is also the first time I see polytonic Greek two-letter mats which combine upright with italic.
(This is because polytonic Greek requires more than 180 "glyphs", so there is not enough space in a 90-channel magazine for two scripts.)
Perhaps this was a special order; if you could provide a photo with more letters, perhaps I would be able to tell you which foundry type it is based on.

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