The Alembic Press

Typecasting with Monotype equipment

Piece of type: Monotype Equipped

The Alembic Press took up casting its own metal type rather late in the day, in 1997, following a generous donation of various pieces of Monotype equipment. Despite the present commercial use of hot metal being very small scale, there is still a small core of enthusiasts who have operational equipment, as well as people discovering the delights of the Monotype system for the first time. It is partly for these, and partly as a contribution to preserving the history of 20th century typecasting, that we have listed on-line some of the information that we have accumulated over the last few years. The lists do not claim to be definitive, but do include information from a variety of published sources, and from various printers and museums, as well as from our own stock of material. As it may well be the first time that some of this information has been made available as a list, it is hoped that it will be found of use.

Piece of type: Keyboard Type Faces issued by Monotype in U.K., in alphabetic order
Type Faces issued by Monotype in U.K., in numeric order, showing Unit arrangement numbers
Type Faces issued by Lanston Monotype in U.S.A., listed in numeric order and showing Unit Arrangement nos.
Non-Latin Type Faces issued by Monotype, showing point and set sizes
Figures issued by Monotype in U.K., listed in serial no. order, and showing related type series, and point sizes.
Keybars and their UAs and typefaces, in keybar number order
Stopbars and their unit values, in stopbar number order
Stopbars and UAs and typefaces, in stopbar number order
Unit Arrangement nos, and their typefaces, in UA order
Unit Arrangements 1, 2 & 3 - character unit widths (U.K.)
Unit Arrangement C - character unit widths (U.S.)
Booklet of Unit Arrangements (on the Metal Type website)
Matrix Case Arrangements
Type Series Charts - characters grouped by unit widths
Monotype Layout Sheets for Matrix Cases and Keybars
U.S. (Matrix Case) Arrangements
Monotype Developments
Monotype Literature that was available in 1960
Monotype Literature that was available in 1973
Monotype Fount Scheme
Some Published Monotype Parts Lists
Some Published Monotype Manuals
Some Published Monotype Information sheets, etc.
Cambridge University Library's list of Monotype Publications
Oils for Monotype Machines
Nozzles for Monotype Machines
Monotype Moulds and Numbering Sequence
Monotype Screw Sizes
Caster and Keyboard Interchangeable Screws
Product Information for casting type on the Super Caster
Pot Temperatures for Monotype Machines
Monotype Part Nos in numeric manufacturing code order
Monotype Keyboard spare parts recommended to be held
Monotype Composition caster spare parts recommended to be held
Monotype Super caster spare parts recommended to be held
Monotype casters at the Alembic Press
Monotype type founts held by the Alembic Press
Monotype border matrices held by the Alembic Press
Monotype figure and fraction matrices held by the Alembic Press
How to run a Composition Caster
See a composition caster in action at the Alembic Press
Some problems encountered when casting type
or go to:
The International Monotype Memory Project
David MacMillan's on-line typecasting manuals, etc.
Some sources of Monotype and letterpress service and supplies
and for more about Alembic, go to:
Alembic Home Page
Piece of type: Caster

The three illustrations above are pieces of type cast (not by Alembic) from Monotype special signs, and are standing on Monotype spool paper. The pictures were taken by webcam in poor lighting, but are representations of Monotype casters and keyboard. The real equipment can be seen at Alembic casters.
(Note that the lists on this page, without the graphics and introduction, can be directly accessed from
(Note also that Monotype is a trademark of Monotype Imaging Inc. registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office and may be registered in certain other jurisdictions.

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The Alembic Press

A Fine Press creating and printing limited edition books by traditional letterpress.

This page was written by David Bolton, and last updated 31 August 2017.