Dies/molds? Please help identify

These came with some other letterpress items I recieved. I plan on selling them, but I need to know what they are and what they were used for. They appear to be some type of border mold. Thanks for your help.


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I think those are molds for a Monotype material maker.

Parallel imp must be right, i’ve cast linotype borders and ludlow borders and those aren’t either of them. dick g.

Is it possible they are for an All Purpose Linotype (APL)?

No, the APL is more akin to a Ludlow in machine and matrice design. I would concur that these are for the Monotype Material Maker, as it is designed to make strip material (like an Elrod) but instead of being an extrusion machine (think toothpaste from a tube) it casts, opens the mold block, pulls the cast material out of the way, then casts again. Hence the molds have to go off one end, but not the other.
I have a friend with one of these (material maker), if you can’t find a use for them, I suspect he’d be interested. It would give me more of a reason to get it running too.

Mike, do you have a picture of the machine you could share?

Victor, if you have a copy of Linotype Machine Principles, in the back of the book it shows a picture of the APL, it looks like a linotype that had the magazines and keyboard removed, not many were made. Don’t think there are too may out there. Dick G.

I don’t have a picture of the Monotype Material Maker either, and it’s quite buried where it’s at—though I suspect online photos exist. As lauded as they are now, I think only 3 or 4 APL machines exist—the Ludlow was already an entrenched product when Linotype tried to bring the APL to market.

Mike, i think the museum of printing in North Andover, MA has an apl but its in storage. I’ve never seen a monotype material maker, don’t know where one would be. Dick G.

M&H Type, Bell and other existing foundries use the Monotype material maker. Any “decorative” strip material (that is anything that beyond parallel lines as extruded on the Elrod) is made on them. I would not consider decorative slugs from Lino or Ludlow as strip material.
If there is an online picture, it would be at the Circuitous Route site where there is a lot of hot metal info, though much in progress.

parallel_imp wrote:
>If there is an online picture, it would be at the Circuitous Route site where there is a lot of hot metal info, though much in progress.

Thanks for the kind words. Embarrassingly, though, most of my site (www.CircuitousRoot.com) is temporarily offline as I move it from one server to another (and do a good bit of rewriting along the way). I hope to have it all back online sometime this winter. My apologies.

(The “reprints” index, though, is still online. It lists material that I’ve reprinted which is housed at The Internet Archive (and also still online):

I never did have much on the Mergenthaler A-P-L or Monotype Material Maker, though - so I just did a bit of quick research here.

I looked at my A-P-L books, and these molds seem pretty clearly not to be A-P-L. That machine was, as noted, very much like a cut-down Linotype (though with many changes, of course). If you’re interested in the A-P-L, Paul Aken is the one to ask - he has one operating at his Platen Press Museum in Zion, IL.

They do, however, look very much like Monotype Material Maker molds. I’m attaching a scan of a very simple drawing of these molds, from the Adjustments book for this machine. The Material Maker could, as I understand it, operate either in a “non-fusion” mode where it basically cast slugs and in a “fusion” mode where it cast shorter slugs of material that it fused together as they left the machine (making a continuous strip).

David M. MacMillan

image: monotype-material-maker-molds-scaled.jpg


The machine in the foreground http://tinyurl.com/2cwbbwn
is a material maker at the C.C. Stern Type Foundry in Portland. We’re still in unpack/setup mode right now, so have not really dug into the material maker, but have plans to get it up an running along with several other machines. Enjoy!

Jeff, Thanks for the pics, nice set up.

Thanks for all your input. I have decided to donate the molds to the C.C.Stern Type Foundry in Portland.

Thanks Jeff and all for help in identifying


These molds look like the ones I used in the early 70’s on a monotype strip caster. The http://tinyurl.com/2cwbbwn

the link Jeff Shay is the machine.