transposed flat type for a non letterpress machine


I found these at a community yard sale awhile back for a few buck and picked them up without knowing what they are. The are obviously not letterpress related (not type high, transposed), but I thought someone might have an idea because I know a lot of you have experience in many fields.

Anyways, they have been sitting on a shelf in my studio for awhile now, so I thought I would throw it out to you and see if anyone knows their purpose. Thanks again!


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Must be Monotype Giant matrices, 72 pt, 294 is Lanston Monotype Co.’s number for Goudy Bold. A true typecaster may be able tell you more.

Thanks, Darrell! I appreciate the info!

They are completely letterpress related. As mentioned above, they are the matrices (moulds for casting the face of the type) for a Monotype caster. They would have been mounted into the caster, held against a larger mould that produces the body of the type, and injected with molten typemetal to produce a (mostly) finished sort of type. If the set is complete and in as clean a shape as it appears to be, there are still people around who can cast from those. Perhaps some of them will chime in here. There may yet be some life in those!

Michael Hurley
Titivilus Press
Memphis, TN

Greg Walters in Piqua, Ohio cast that size type and probably has the only type caster around that could use them. He cast some beautiful 144 point initials last year. My daughter bought me one for a Father’s Day gift.

These are Giant Mats, Monotype Giant or Supercaster.

With the right Matholder they can also be cast on

Orphan Annie (Monotype)
Thompson Caster

Trying to cast them on a hand thrown Barth Caster like Gregory used for the P22 Initials would be futile at best.

Please read Practical Typecasting by Theo Rehak and the Pamphlets published in a loose order by the MAerican Typecasting Fellowship, Rich Hopkins, the Editor writes extensively on Mats and how and what to cast them with.

While broadly true that Monotype matrices can be cast on a Thompson, the largest body size the machine will cast is 48 pt. These are for a 72 pt face so they couldn’t be run on a Thompson. Otherwise I’d have suggested contacting Sky Shipley of Skyline Type Foundry to see if he wanted them. Since he casts exclusively on Thompson machines, though, I doubt he’d have much use for these.

I also don’t think these mats could be cast on a Monotype Composition Caster (what people call an Orphan Annie), as I think they topped out at 36 point. I’m fairly certain these would require a Super Caster or Giant to be cast from again. That’s not impossible to find.

Michael Hurley (Thompson #130 Caretaker & Thompson Tech Grad)
Titivilus Press
Memphis, TN


Ever run a Super caster or Giant caster?

The mats are same size and the largest size you can cast is 72 pt on a Super or Giant caster. With a special Attachment you could go to 144 pt. But the mats are super rare and I used to Loan them from Monotype UK and Druckwerk Stichting in the Marge as we used to Trade and Loan Mats back than for actively than I owned and used a 16x17 Composition caster with Unitshift and attachment to go to 24 pt and a Supercaster, keyborded on a 727 system.

Second, a Orphan Annie Or AO is a Monotype Sorts caster, not a Compositon caster which is Tape driven, theras the OA is Mat based in a single mat holder, and a totally different machine.

Se this little but wonderful movie:

(I don’t need this ! The knowledge is out there and readily available with a little bit of search, it is this type of exchange in a public Forum which has driven me away before.)

To Wit: I stated that this type of mats can be cast on a Thompson caster, I didn’t specified that that set of 72 pt can be cast on a Thompson Caster.

In the moment we stop paying attention to details we just rush thru Life and it becomes artificial.
That’s not me.