TYPE-CASTING MACHINES. Every book, news and job-printing office in former years has been absolutely dependent on the type founder, with his elaborate plant and his estab lished fonts of type in standard and individual copyrighted faces. The waste and wear was large and costly. Office economics compelled the use of fonts even after the faces of many of the types had become too battered for clean printing. To replace the broken and battered type it was necessary to send to the foundry for °sorts° (as the individual types are called) to fill out the fonts, and this was not only ex pensive but unsatisfactory, because it resulted in mixing new type with the old. The inven tion of the Mergenthaler Linotype machine enabled the printing offices to present absolutely clear-faced, freshly-cast body type for news papers, books, pamphlets and the like. To a degree, also, headline type for newspapers could be economically set up and a considerable tion of the advertising display. But there still remained a demand for movable type for hand use. To effect the economy demanded, a small, compact machine, a sorts caster, to cast in dividual type of any face and size at the pleas ure and convenience of each office, was de vised and several different makes are now in successful operation in many newspaper, book and job-printing offices, one being the inven tion of J. S. Thompson, another of Hanrahan, Brown and Boydon.
The sorts caster occupies but little space four and one-half feet high by three and one half feet long by three feet wide. It is op erated by belt and pulley and requires one fourth horse power. Carrying to the full the newly-adopted standardization of type, one size of the machine will cast with accuracy type from 6-point up to and including 36-point, and a larger size type from 36-point to 72-point.
A very solid cast-iron frame supports the strongly made component parts—an adjustable steel mold to which is fastened the brass matrix of the desired letter; a gas-heated pot of molten type metal; a plunger rod to force accurately the exact amount of molten metal into the mold as the latter is automatically thrust forward into place, and a planer to trim the base of the type and eject it, perfect and complete, along on the delivery rod when mold and melting pot separate.
The base of the mold is stationary and per manently secured to the machine and farms with the ejector rod two sides of the mold. These are so arranged as to receive interchange able insert mold parts to complete the exact parallelogram required by the particular face and size of the toe to be cast. This insert mold part carries the brass matrix in which is cut the face of the type. Each matrix speci fies the exact adjustment of blanks which the operator must make to procure the correct width or set-wise size of the character to be cast. There is an insert mold part for each body wise size.
A 50-pound font of 12-point type can be cast in nine hours and a font of 18-point in seven. Fonts of matrices are sold outright ; dis tinctive designs may be cut for individual printers, or fonts may be hired as books are from a circulating library.