   

The standard ordinary English double case is as shown on the left, and combines a full arrangement of lower case with half an upper case. The lower case section (two bays) has 53 boxes, and the upper case (right hand) section has 49 boxes. With the advent of mechanical typesetting systems, the need for separate upper and lower cases dwindled in the twentieth century, and the double case became much more popular. It was also convenient for storing the small jobbing founts of display types, which had no small caps, accents, fractions, etc. 
As an improvement on the basic upper case arrangement, the 49 boxes were reduced, to either 42 or 35, by omitting complete rows, and thus enlarging the remaining boxes. Indeed Southward was advocating such improvements in 1887, by the simple means of knocking two rows together, but the established pattern became either three or four rows of enlarged boxes, for the capitals, and the remaining rows smaller for punctuation, numerals, ligatures, etc. 
The following examples show the differing styles of upper case sections of the double case, so far encountered. The source and date of the information is shown alongside, together with a note of any lower case variations. 
Ordinary Double  Seven upper rows 
Southward 1882  (with 53 lc boxes) 

Miller & Richard 1895, 1897, 1920s  (with 53 lc boxes) 
Caslon 1897, 1925  (with 53 lc boxes) 
Stephenson Blake 1922  (with 53 lc boxes) 
and with alternative lowers 
Miller & Richard 1873  (with 54 lc boxes) 
Southward 1887  (with 50 lc boxes) 

Improved Double  Six upper rows 
Caslon 1897, 1925  (with 53 lc boxes) 

Southward 1904  1933  (with 53 lc boxes) 
Stephenson Blake 1922  1989  (with 53 lc boxes) 
Miller & Richard 1920s  (with 53 lc boxes) 
Cefmor 1955, 1963  (with 53 lc boxes) 
Harrild 1970  (with 53 lc boxes) 
Horsfall (Startype) 1978  (with 53 lc boxes) 
and with alternative lowers 
Cefmor 1955 (Californian)
 (with 54 lc boxes) 
Dorset House 1976  (with 54 lc boxes) 
Camberwell 2001  (with 54 lc boxes) 

Jobbing Double  Five upper rows 
Miller & Richard 1920s  (with 46 lc boxes) 

Note that their lower case is unusual in having only 46, rather than the more usual 53, boxes. 
Caslon 1925 (McNeill)
 (with 54 lc boxes) 
Whetton 1946 (Improved)
 (with 53 lc boxes) 
Contemporary with the alternative Californian Job case which was also available in U.K.


Improved Double  Five upper rows 
Southward 1887  (with 53 lc boxes) 

Note that earlier and later editions of Southward do not show this configuration. He also describes a simple improved case, made by knocking two rows together, giving five rows in all, but does not show which are the resulting two large rows. 

Jobbing Double  Five upper rows 
Miller & Richard 1895, 1897  (with 46 lc boxes) 

Note that their lower case is unusual in having only 46 boxes, rather than the more usual 53 boxes. Their later version of this case had only three of the five rows as larger ones. 

Improved Double  Six upper rows 
Talbot late 1960s (Haddon)
 (with 53 lc boxes) 

Note that this is almost the same as Southward's 1887 Improved Double above, if his bottom row is divided into two. 


This page was written by David Bolton and last updated 21 November 2001. 