French Combination Case

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This lay is that shown in Ringwalt, American Encylopaedia of Printing (1871) as the case and lay being adopted by Parisian printers. It is also shown in Southward, Practical Printing (1882) as being the French lay used by English printers. Note that by the 3rd edition of Practical Printing (in 1887), the lay is omitted. In the diagram, the hs box represents hair space, and the row of e boxes are superscript characters. Ringwalt shows the box for thins as having both 4 to em and 5 to em spacing., and doesn't specify which spaces are in the thicks box, though presumably they are 3 to em.

The empty case configuration is French Single. Although the case is partitioned into two bays, note that there are effectively seven cap boxes on one side, and eight on the other. A later version, shown by Muller (c.1910) reduces the eight to seven, but adds an extra upper row, allowing for accents and ligatures, and thus giving more lower case room with fewer divided boxes.

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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 1998 by David Bolton and last updated 28 August 2013.