Metal Type: Home | Library | Forum | Free Ads | Store

My monotype adventures

Started by Franz, October 07, 2023, 05:35:40 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Printle: A Printing Word Game from Metal Type


Until challenged, I hereby declare myself the worlds latest Monotype apprentice.

I am learning Monotype keyboard and casting machine operation under the excellent supervision of Erich Hirsch at the "Museum der Arbeit" (museum of work) in Hamburg, Germany. I have just finished my first year.

So for those of you that learned Monotype operation in the old days, this may cause a raised eyebrow, so please let me elaborate.
My apprenticeship certainly differs from the standard 6 week course setup for a keyboard operator at the Monotype school, 19 and 19a Cursitor Street, London E.C.4 (And various technical collages) as laid out by the Monotype. Or the 6 months "Lehrplan" for each the keyboard operator and the caster as described in the east German "L├╝hrssen".

Since I live in Sweden, far from Hamburg, and have a both well paying and demanding job, as well as a lovely family, I only can visit Erich for single days. Into the first year, we fitted 6 days of training, and additional two days where the Monotype operated during a fair.

So, in order to make sure that as much as possible of what I learn during these days sticks, I try to take enough time when back home and note down what I learned. I do this while reading up in various books that I have.

My "notes" can be found on my website. They are an apprentice diary in prose, and a visual memory aid for me.

If you are interested, you are welcome to visit my blog.

(Photo credit Burkard Meyendriesch)

Val Lucas

Wonderful! I'm no longer the newest newbie?
Franz, this is great. thanks for sharing! (Although I'm not sure that Google translate gets everything exactly right.)

My experience has been similar- I think the days of a 6-week (or 6-month, or 6-year) apprenticeship are over... our current life situations don't allow for it. Since I started working with Jim in August 2021, I've been up there I think 7 times for about a week each, and worked with Rich for a week at MonoU plus a few days earlier.

We get the experience when and where we can squeeze it in around life. Keep it up!


Thanks @Val Lucas for your welcome!

By pure chance, and through the link shared by @Jason I "attended" your talk at the AFT meeting earlier this year. I enjoyed it very much.   

Terrence reached out to me as well and I learned about your Monotype U in August, congratulations. I tried to contact Rich about joining the ATF, but he hasn't replied so far. I will give it another try by real mail. I guess he is looking for someone to take his duties there.

Not much google in there. When writing in German first and then doing a quick translation, my writing becomes a bit robotic. A "unit insert" is called a stopbar, though, I will correct that.

Again, thanks for your reply.
Cheers, Franz



Quote from: Val Lucas on October 12, 2023, 01:26:33 PM[...] Since I started working with Jim [...]
For other readers here, that would be Jim Walczak, I assume.

Quick Reply

Please leave this box empty:
Type the letters shown in the picture
Listen to the letters / Request another image

Type the letters shown in the picture:

Shortcuts: ALT+S post or ALT+P preview

Printers' Tales - Over 30 stories from the pre-digital age. Buy now on Amazon/Apple Books

☛ Don't miss our illustrated newsletters. Click here to see examples and subscribe. ☚