Maori Lower Case







































This type case was that used by William Colenso in 1835, as described by R Coupland Harding in his paper ‘Relics of the first New Zealand press’ read to the New Zealand Institute in 1899 (see Transactions and proceedings Vol 32). Coupland Harding inherited Colenso's press and equipment when he died, and he found the material in a damp shed in Napier. He then drew up the layout of the cases. [Colenso's lay, or rather Coupland Harding's detail, is given in many later sources, e.g. McKenzie: Oral culture, literacy & print in early New Zealand (1985)]. Because the Maori language uses less characters than English, only 38 boxes are needed, rather than the normal 53 or 54, and thus the case manages to include both roman and italic. Note that the case partition is off-centre. Colenso had two or three pairs of cases made to his own design by a local joiner, after his arrival at the Paihia Mission Station at the end of 1834, and finding that no cases, paper, composing sticks, etc. had been included in the delivery from England. The case was 36¾ by 16⅜ by 1⅝ inches and weighed 9lb 12oz empty. It is larger than English cases of the time, which were 32½ by 14¼ by 1 inch and weighed 5lb empty. The actual type lay is Maori Lower and the companion upper case is Maori Upper.

Other empty cases
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 1999 by David Bolton and last updated 14 February 2017.