Melbourne Museum of Printing
Foundry Type in Our Collection
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Some Foundry Types

Our Collection of Foundry Types

Foundry types are hand-set types of the kind made by machines and with grades of metal normally associated with the traditional type foundries.

Foundry types are usually superior to those hand-set types made on machines and with grades of metal normally associated with typecasting plants operated by printers. These machines include the very popular Monotype range and the Thompson Typecasters.

There are of course a number of businesses which operate as typefoundries rather than as printers, which employ such machines. In skilled hands their products are very good and uniform quality. But there are problems in getting such machines to operate efficiently with the harder grades of metal used by the traditional foundries. And the matrices mass-produced for the Monotype are not as well-formed (in regard to the three-dimensional shapes of their cavities) nor as deeply cut as was possible with matrices made by the founders themselves for their own machines.

We have over a thousand founts of type made in foundries of the UK, Europe, the USA and Australia. Many would date from the 1930's, with some seemingly much older. Many are from foundries long since closed.

These are either in cases, as they were used in the print shops from which they were acquired, or tied up on galleys.

There is much work to be done in curating, identifying and proofing this collection.

Any takers?

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