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National Amateur Press Association
Monthly Bundle Sample, Campane 194, p.1
Campane 194, May 1999

The California Typecase

With the introduction of the first jobbing or display type faces in the first decade of the 19th century (and within a few years these new faces came onto the market by the hundreds) most printers both in America and in Britain were forced to add more and more of the new letters to their stores of type in order to remain competitive in the jobbing printing business. Printers, hitherto concerned only with book or newspaper types in their shops, and not too many of them, were faced with the problem of storing the numerous new display fonts.

Most new fonts contained only capitals, figures and points, so the traditional upper case served nicely. Its two divisions, each containing 49 boxes, each would lay a font of the new letter, though the boxes must have looked rather over large for the small fonts that the new letters were put up in. A more effcient use of the full size case in accommodating the caps, figures and points; only job fonts came with the devising of the treble case (called triple case in the United States) with its three divisions, each of 49 boxes. But the laying of job or display fonts which contained both upper and lower case letters presented a problem demanding more innovation. To use a full lower and half an upper case (none of these faces contained


    Last updated: 01/14/2000