With Apologies: What is this?

A friend sent me a picture of metal “type” from an antique store wanting to know what it is. My guess is that it has to do with making type, such as matrices, but I don’t actually know what it is. Thanks for your help. Please see attached images.

image: MetalType.sm_.jpg


image: MetalType.K.jpg


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This is type for a Multigraph machine. The individual characters slid into channels on the face of the printing drum.

As J.H. implies, Type for a Multigraph machine, we believe restricted to One face size only, different faces maybe, but restricted by the rails on the drum, and possibly the periphery of the drum itself.!!!
There is a fair collection of spare Type/Mats, (same difference) lurking in our Museum Print Shop, (Type Only) the machines have long since been thrown away, (sadly) if they were ever donated,?? Artefacts, (generally) acquired by or donated to the museum, can occasionally be acquired by negotiation & an agreed donation to the funds.!! If spare type was needed, (possibly).

Multigraph type was available in a range of sizes. I’ll (try to) attach a scan here of a showing of Cheltenham Bold in 6 to 24 point. It’s from a Multigraph display type specimen book published sometime between 1943 and 1963.

They indicate that in display sizes they cast 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 18, and 24 point face sizes, but used only three body sizes (12, 18, and 24). I’m not sure what they did in text sizes (and indeed many of these “display” sizes are text sizes). They also indicate that through 24 point the type was cast with the surface flat, but that type over 24 point (up to 72 point) was made with a curved surface.

Now that you have some Multigraph type, you’ll need to get a Multigraph to use it.

David M.

image: multigraph-cheltenham-bold.jpg


Rainer Gerstenberg in Darmstadt regularly casts the type for the Multigraph machines. While I was there two weeks ago, I did cast 5000 ‘2’s and 5000 ‘4’s for one of his customers. In Germany they are referred to as Kurz-typen. In the photograph, you see freshly cast type sliding out of the caster, onto a rail.

image: Kurz typen.JPG

Kurz typen.JPG

I also found a photo of a small WAM machine (built in Germany) that uses the type. The machine was used to print labels with. To the right, a corner of the type storage unit, made in metal and brass, a kind of type distributor.

image: WAM-machine.JPG


Thanks very much for the excellent answers!

Go to Flickr, there are a few pictures of Multigraphs

They are a form of office duplicator made in different sizes.
Also sold in Germany as Tickopres by Dapag.

I have a cabinet with the curved sections, I now know why I can’t get much type in them.

Dave Churchman has one of these machines for sale.