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By Harry Carter

A View of Early Typography has lengthy been considered as the vintage textual content at the construction and use of style within the first a hundred and fifty years of printing. through targeting kind, Harry Carter is going to the guts of layout, the purpose at which the fabric approaches of printing meet the highbrow matters of publishers and the character of the texts they submit. one of the themes lined: the range of letterforms (blackletter, roman, italic, and more); the tensions among Latin and the vernacular languages; and the institution of criteria of norms in style layout. this can be a facsimile of the unique version, of 1969, augmented through a brand new creation within which James Mosley explains the importance of the booklet and provides a quick account of Carter's lifestyles and paintings.

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B y altering the posi­ tions of the registers the caster can make the type thicker or thinner on one side or both. Having once set the registers to suit one matrix, he is able to cast the whole fount without further alteration if the matrices are well justified. A departure from the norm of some old matrices is that they have no margins at the sides. In the sixteenth century those for casting music {Fig. n ) were made so that the lines of the stave extended right across the piece of copper with the consequence that type cast in them gave the appearance ofjoining up to make continuous lines.

3 7 1 . z Ibid. Van den Keere's 'Grosse Flamande' (Black Letter) and th e capitals for his 'Grosse Romaine' and 'Castillane' (Redonda) were cut in wood for sand cast­ ing. The pattern letters exist at the Museum Plantin-Moretus. 3 See his article in Gutenberg-:fahrbuch 1 928, at p. 5 5 · 4 Gutenberg-Jahrbuch 1929, pp. 3 1-roo. THE TECHNI CALITIES OF TYPE 17 general engraver, ridiculed an inclination t o believe that type had ever been made by means other than punches and struck matrices. He pointed out that goldsmiths, engravers to mints, and metal workers of other kinds made steel punches for letters and struck them in softer metals and had done so before typographical print­ ing was thought o£ No other way of multiplying small letters so as to form a printing surface had such practical advantages or would have been so likely to occur to the mind of a mechanic in the fifteenth, or any other, century.

85-9 1 . 22 THE TECHNICALITIES OF TYPE Biringuccio in the book Pirotechnia o f I 540 that I have quoted wrote that the metal used for type was three-quarters tin, an eighth lead, and an eighth antimony. It looks as though there had been a big change of practice during the sixteenth century. An impres­ sion that tin was the main ingredient in early type, and sometimes the sole ingredient, is conveyed by early documents and colophons. In 1471 a man starting a press at Foligno bought 1 1 3 lb. s A hope that the use of pure tin to make it might explain some of the bafllin g problems about early type would, I think, be illusory.

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