Empty Improved Upper Case


This English typecase configuration matches that of Miller & Richard: Specimens of Book Newspaper Jobbing and Ornamental Types (1894) and still in Printing Type Specimens (1927). It is shown by Stephenson, Blake & Co: Printing Material & Machinery (1922), and is the New Upper Case of Caslon: Printing Types & Materials (1925), the Double of Southward: Modern Printing (6th ed 1933 and 8th ed 1954), the Improved Upper of Cefmor: Printers Equipment (1955), and the Special Cap Case of American Printing Equipment Supply Co: Catalog (1983 and 1987).

The left hand bay of the case has smaller boxes, for the small caps and other less used characters, and the right bay is improved for the capitals by having larger boxes.

Neither Caslon nor Miller & Richard show this case in their 1897 catalogues, nor does Southward in the 1904 2nd edition of his Modern Printing, which suggests that this case is a twentieth century development. It follows the pattern of the Upper case introduced by Thomas N Rooker in the U.S. in the 1860s. However, in the U.S. an alternative News Cap case was generally adopted by making the top three and bottom row of the standard upper case smaller than the middle three rows. Interestingly, Southward in 1904 does describe an Improved Upper case, but with only four rows of 14 boxes, rather than seven, and intended for simple jobbing founts. Caslon and Miller & Richard did produce Jobbing Upper cases, but with five rows of boxes and basically only seven boxes per row.

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ie with the boxes left blank
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ie with characters assigned to boxes
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This page was written in 1997 by David Bolton and last updated 26 April 2015.