Southward Improved Lower Case

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çbcd isp wffffi
jlmnh othin , fgensems
qy    u        t     thicks     a    r ;:quads

This English lay is that given in Southward: Practical Printing (3rd ed 1887 and 5th ed 1900), as the improved lay recommended by the Printers' Register of 1880 (and claimed to be adopted by many offices). For example, it moves thins near thicks, x near e (there being some 600 words with ex), y near l and b (given the large number of ly and lby words), q and j near u (there being some 200 words with ju), v near to e and i (given the number of combinations of v with e, i, s or o), k from the upper case, and : ; near ,. Lawrence Wallis remarks on this in his A Short History of the English Case Lay, Print in Britain, Nov 1959. The improvements were claimed to save half a mile of travel of a compositor's hands during the working day, although the Modern lay shown by Wallis does not incorporate these changes, so presumably the trade stuck to tradition. Later lays shown by Southward (1884 and 1900) simply move thins to ... and drop the em dash.

The companion upper case is Improved Upper. Southward also gives an Old lay, a Times Office lay, a provincial News lay, and an American lay.

The empty typecase configuration is shown as Lower case.

Other empty cases
ie with the boxes left blank
Other type layouts
ie with characters assigned to boxes
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This page was written in 1997 by David Bolton and last updated 16 April 2009.