Melbourne Museum of Printing
Monotype [Super] Mats in Our Collection
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Monotype Supercaster Matrices

Monotype Supercaster Matrices

We have almost a thousand founts [sets] of Monotype Supercaster matrices, of which a few are duplicates.

[In the Monotype Supercaster, matrices (each carrying the cavity to cast one character) are inserted into the machine singly. The matrix carries engraved information about the required width of the mould cavity, and the operator adjusts this for each matrix. Sufficient quantity is then cast of that character before changing the matrix.

Despite the sheer volume of mats, there are very definite `holes' in our collection. We have very few of the specialised book faces, and almost no accented characters. And almost no non-Latin faces.

We do have a good range of oraments, borders and mathematical signs.

About 70 of our founts are American Monotype or Thompson matrices: these are covered in a separate file.

The (British) mats are one inch square (a few are larger for 72 pt size) and 1/4 inch thick. They are brass, and most are plated with a harder (silvery) metal. Is it nickel? The Thompson mats are much thinner and rectangular.

You may wish to consult our List of Mono Super mats, but at the time of writing it is only an outline.

Information Sought

As with every aspect of printing, we would always be glad to receive information about any aspect of Monotype matrices.

In particular, we have no information on the specific processes used in the manufacture of mats. How do they start off? How many steps, and what are those steps?

How many factories ever made Monotype mats? How many still do so?

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