The Monotype Chronicles by Lawrence W. Wallis
Key events in Monotypes history: people, technology, typefaces,
company developments, and important industry developments
1961 - Univers (Series 689) by Adrian Frutiger. Originally produced in 1957 for handsetting and for composition on Photon/Lumitype machines.
Fontana (Series 403) by Giovanni Mardersteig. Originally designed in 1936 for use at the Clear-Type Press in Glasgow of William Collins.
Octavian (Series 603) by Will Carter and David Kindersley.
The Monotype Corporation opened a second factory in Britain at Dunfermline.
1961 - Stanley Morison elected Royal Designer for Industry by the Royal Society of Arts.
Instant lettering by the dry transfer method introduced by Letraset Ltd.
IBM Selectric Typewriter, the first to employ a golf-ball print head.
1960 - 1970
Lanston Monotype Machine Company introduced Monomatic composing machines, a system perpetuating the concept of a separate keyboard and caster interfaced by a 31-channel punched paper tape. The keyboard consisted of a two-alphabet layout (instead of the customary five or seven) augmented by four shift keys. In the caster, the matrix-case contained 324 characters arranged in 18 ¥ 18 rows. There were no restrictions on unit values within the rows. Monomatic machines were considered by the British company, but never reached serious marketing for doctrinaire technical reasons.
Lanston Industries Inc. bought Unitronics Inc., a manufacturer of photomechanical equipment for graphic reproduction.
Lanston Monotype Machine Company sold building in Philadelphia to the National Publishing Company and re-located to Downingtown, Pennsylvania.
Carl C. Sorenson elected President of Lanston Industries.
Theodore H. Maiman first generated a laser beam at the Hughes Laboratory in Malibu.
Apollo (Series 645) by Adrian Frutiger, the first typeface produced by the Corporation specifically for phototypesetting.
Michael Barnett headed a group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that successfully programmed a digital computer to drive a phototypesetting machine (a Photon 200).
Unit-shift attachment for Monotype Casters and Monophoto Filmsetters provided an enlarged synopsis of 272 characters disposed in a matrix-case of 16 x 17 rows, as opposed to a previous maximum of 255 characters configured in 15 x 17 rows. Additionally the constriction of a row in the matrix case having to contain characters of a common unit width was overcome with the ability to intermix characters of two different unit values. Bigger keyboard layouts of 12 x 14 rows of buttons were introduced to control the new facilities, whereas formerly the keybanks stretched only to 11 x 14 rows.
Varigear attachment for Monotype Caster enabling running speeds between 40 to 180 revolutions per minute to be selected for the composition of type from 4.25 to 24 point and the production of strip materials up to 6 point.
Monotype Photolettering Machine, a manually-operated device for the setting of displayed jobbing work. Characters were selected by a dialling action from a font of 100 sorts. Often served as a complement to the Monophoto Filmsetter.
Horace Hart elected President of the Lanston Monotype Machine Company in the USA.
Compugraphic Corporation released the Linasec special-purpose typesetting computer outputting TTS tapes for the control of line-casters.
Albertina (Series 664) by Chris Brand. First used in 1966 for a catalogue of the work of Stanley Morison exhibited at the Albertina, the Royal Library in Brussels. Second typeface produced by the Corporation specifically for phototypesetting.
In a role reversal, the Lanston Monotype Machine Company began to import machines manufactured entirely in the United Kingdom.
Monophoto Filmsetter Mark 3 incorporating a simplified gearbox, an increase in running speed, and a system of combined spacing (the first letter of a word being combined with the preceding space for joint output in a single machine revolution).
Monotype Paper Tape Conversion Unit for: reading narrow binary-coded computer-generated tapes processed by a text composition program; translating the binary signals into co-ordinate codes; and for punching out the results as 31-channel paper spools to control Monotype and Monophoto machines. The converter established a link between digital computers and Monotype equipment.
Both Monotype companies in the UK and USA took on distribution of the Swiss-engineered GSA Computer Typesetting System: the initials standing for Guttinger Satz Automation. It was a special-purpose approach with the text composition routines wired into the hardware, as distinct from a general-purpose computer running specific software programs.
Security Columbian Banknote Company merged with Lanston Industries Inc. of which the Lanston Monotype Machine Company formed a part.
Dr.-Ing. Rudolf Hell announced the Digiset phototypesetter, the first to use digitized fonts for image generation on an output cathode ray tube (CRT). The fonts were stored using compressed run-length coding. The machine marked the beginning of CRT typesetting and was joined shortly afterwards (in 1967) by Linotypes more popular Linotron 505.
Digital Equipment Corporation announced the PDP-8 minicomputer which became the central processing unit for many early electronic typesetting systems.
Sabon (Series 669) by Jan Tschichold produced for composition by handsetting, line-casting, and Monotype composition, as requested by the German Master Printers.
Varigear attachment applied to Monotype Super Caster.
London warehouse at Rosebery Avenue closed.
Monomatic II machine announced as an improvement on the earlier model, the primary innovation being the division of the matrix case into quadrants each containing a type style in upper case and lower case and consequentially rationalizing operational mechanical movements.
Bulmer (Series 469). Originally cut for the Limited Editions Club in 1937.
Fleet Titling (Series 632) by John Peters.
Monotype Electronic Perforator providing automatic line justification from a single keystroke and consequentially greater productivity when preparing 31-channel spools. On the forerunning Monotype Model D Keyboard, the operator was obliged to read a justification drum as a prelude to pressing the justifying keybuttons signified.
Monophoto Filmsetter Mark 4 accommodating an enlarged photo-matrix case of 340 characters and spaces arranged in 17 x 20 rows, instead of the foregoing 272 characters organized in 16 x 17 rows.
Factory at Salfords stopped making the Thompson Type Caster.
Stanley Morison died on 11 October.
Compugraphic Corporation (now part of Agfa) introduced a series of inexpensive phototypesetting machines which effectively popularized the new process of composition and led eventually to the widespread displacement of hot-metal setting.
Southwark Offset Ltd. in London used a video display monitor for correcting typographic text: the unit was the Cossor CoSprite. It was followed quickly by other comparable systems in the USA, notably the Hendrix 5102FD (1969) and the Harris 1100 (1970).
Monophoto Filmsetter Mark 5 (last in the series) offering greater flexibility in the distribution of interlinear space than on previous models.
Monophoto 600 Filmsetter, the first electronic text output device to be produced by the Monotype Corporation Ltd. Fonts were stored on four photo-matrix discs with 100 characters apiece (400 in aggregate) supplemented by a carousel of 200 pi-sorts in the form of 35 mm slides. Completing the system was the Monophoto 600 Tape Perforator providing 8-channel justified tape.
Monotype Studio-lettering Machine founded on working principles not dissimilar to a photographic enlarger and imaging from a photo-matrix disc. Hand-operated and intended for setting displayed lines.
Lanston Monotype Machine Company liquidated: the matrix-making equipment and artifacts passed to the American Type Founders Company and into an uncaring custodianship.
Beatrice Warde died on 14 September.
Intertype Corporation discontinued manufacture of line-casters in the USA and centralized the declining activity in the UK.
High-speed composition mould for Monotype Casters increasing productivity by 3 to 38 per cent on type sizes between 6 and 12 point.
International Typeface Corporation (ITC) established in New York for licensing the use of specially commissioned type designs to manufacturers of composition machinery and others subscribing to the service.
Mergenthaler Linotype Company terminated production of hot-metal line-casters in the USA. Some 90,000 units had emerged from the American factory. Manufacture of the machines continued in Germany and the UK.
Digital Equipment Corporation released the PDP-11 computer which served as the hub for many clustered multi-terminal composition systems.
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