Monotype Keyboard Question

I started printing in 1963 at HightSchool. Somebody gave there School two press C&P 8x12 and a C&P Pilot press. Plus, a type rack w/24 fonts. I did printing in General Wood Shop freshman year. And worked in a basement shop Jr/Sr years. After H.S. I started a my Apprenticeship at the GPO as a Compositor. I set type on Mono Keyboard for 13 weeks and I still remember how. Question? I Don’t remember setting Ragged Right text!! 26 1/2 pica straight copy, leader work, and tables (turn back the star wheel for the rules). As a rule, Ragged Right Copy?


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Certainly ragged right copy can be done without difficulty. It has been so long for me, that I can’t tell you if it were automatic on the keyboards we used, or if you simply hit multiple quads to fill the line. I learned the keyboard while s student at RIT, probably one of the last years Monotype was taught.

John Henry
Cedar Creek Press

Its been a long time since did my time!! I just don’t ever remember doing Ragged Right Text. I know it could be done, but it would be more time consuming. If you didn’t quad the line out close to the end of the line, the spaces between the words would be too large. The last time I saw a Mono Keyboard was about 6 years ago. Quaker City Type Pn Honey Brook, PA. The last time I set on one was 68’ or 69’. Thanks!! Winston

One or Two possible options, (usually) for normal Ragged Right the Keyboard is set to produce whole ems Pica on the Caster, via the extensive setting chart for the keyboard, usually described as whole Ems OF SET, i.e. 36 ems 16 units to produce 24 ems Pica on the caster.
THEN, working of off fixed spacing, normally 4 units from the space bars, *mostly M.C.A.s, (matrix case arrangements K/board and Caster) incorporate 5, 6, 9. and 18 unit spaces, the K/board can be flipped to produce 4 units from the space bar, the caster recognises the instructions.
Therefore the K/board is set as required to produce Ems Pica on the Caster.
Prose and Poetry some times set as ragged right, occassionaly One Em indented first line, then fixed spaces as required to within 5/6 ems of full out on the scale, then fixed spacing via multiples/compounds from the above, on the unit wheel, up to first remaining whole mutton of set, then whole muttons to zero, where possible or practical attempting to bring every subsequent line *out of sync* to the one above, to keep the RAGGED,!! look.

Another possible option, set the K/board to work in justified mode but stop short of the last whole word, 4/5 ems of set, but within the justifying range, (from the justification drum) and then justify as directed, obviates the need to play with losing the odd units of set, but can produce the *Rivers of White* down through the text, frequently seen in Newsprint.

Humble resume re Tabular/Ranging and leader work, if required.
Good Luck. Mick. - 29/09/`18.

I use to be a Hot Metal Printer. At the Big House (GPO) I got to do it all. Everything was 13 week at a time training, Main Lino, Monotype Keyboard, Main Proof Room. You rotated thru all the Composing Departments. I’ve still have my Indenture Papers, Diploma and first paycheck stub. It started as a 5 year Apprenticeship and sometime in the second year it was cut to 4 year program. The Class ahead of us was in their 5th year. I stayed for 8 months after my time and quit. Working for the Government was not for me. Ended up at The Washington Post for 34 years, 2 months and 6 days, but who was counting


I have a friend here in the UK who is producing poetry setting
ragged right and a very great deal of it too, but has no keyboard as we used to know them. (Tho’ in fact there are butttons and bars about not used at all. ) he has got a tamed
computer and a device on top the paper tower of the caster
connected by a couple of wires. To someone used to blue paper with holes in its really quite something. Mind you I doubt he can do unit wheel work! I sometimes dream that mad woodpecker noise … .

A Question, did the US Lanston Monotype system offer the nine point based ”Four Line Mathematics” set up? which
the UK firm’s equipment did.?