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Third Party Vendors - History

Started by Rob G, September 17, 2022, 12:19:18 AM

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Rob G

Hi. Can anyone tell me anything about the history of third party vendors selling Monotype founts for hand-setting. I'm based in the UK, so here I would be talking about companies like Mould Type and Riscatype.

1. When did this begin? Did it happen relatively quickly after Monotype itself was established or did it take a few years to develop as a secondary industry?

2. The official Monotype literature has nothing to say on this. Did these companies simply buy a few casters and rent or buy mats and just get on with it, or was there some licensing agreement with Monotype?

3. Excuse my ignorance but did Monotype sell founts of type for hand-setting themselves - or just the mats and casters, i.e. their system.

4. Is there any reason I can't find out anything about this - e. g. I get the impression Monotype are/were very protective about their trademark and corporate image - or am I just not looking hard enough?!


John Cornelisse

This place is not a complete source about the history of Monotype. You could look at wikipedia: see:

see: Hopkins, Richard (2012). Tolbert Lanston and the Monotype: The Origin of Digital Typesetting. Tampa, Florida: University of Tampa Press. ISBN 978-159732-100-6.

see: H. W. Westbrook. The Works of the Lanston Monotype Corporation, Ltd.

see: Judy Slinn, Sebastian Carter, Richard Southall, History of the Monotype Corporation, 2014, Vanburgh Press, Woodstock, ISBN 978-0-9930510-0-5


see (in Dutch):

Chuck Byrne

arion press, san francisco i believe sells monotype cast fonts

Bruce Anderton

Once the Monotype system became established in the UK various people such as Horsfall & Son (Startype), Mouldtype and Riscatype set up as purveyors of Monotype-cast fonts, and printers could purchase good ranges of complete fonts from such outlets. Such businesses were in competition with the old-established typefounders such as Stephenson Blake and Caslon, who produced foundry type cast in harder metal than the Monotype product and which was thus much more durable.

Then there were the trade typesetters—companies organised to provide complete typesetting services to printers who did not have the facilities to do more than a limited amount of hand-setting on their own premises. The work done could range from a business card to a complete book and would be undertaken in Monotype, Linotype or Intertype, with Ludlow on the sidelines for the display work. The major houses had facilities for Monotype and Linotype setting, and later introduced photosetting as more work went over to litho printing.

Monotype did not offer type for sale, they only sold the machines to cast type and the matrices to use thereon, and the same reasoning applied to Linotype, Intertype and Ludlow.

With regard to the use of protected trade names, Linotype said they had no objection to titles such as "Birmingham Trade Linotype", which as its name implies was a trade typesetter in the city named which specialised in providing slug-setting to its customers, and I dare say Monotype held a similar viewpoint. And of course no-one had any objection to seeing "Set in Linotype Pilgrim" or "Set in Monotype Baskerville" on the imprint of books: it was a good advert for the respective form of typesetting and for the long as the job was well-printed, of course!

R Kenworthy

Hi I have a number of companies specimen books and sheets mostly dating from the 1950s and some pre WWII for Linotype and Intertype. there are some descriptions of the company. What exactly are you looking for?
I am looking for someone who might want to make use of them I am in Kent UK enquires to email:- my email there are also 200 cases of type and a collection of Linotype Mats and model 48 magazines.
Age is getting the better of me!

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