|Originally, type was stored all in the one large case, as is still done for example in Germany, but in England, Belgium and France, for example, it became stored in two separate, upper and lower, cases, from the end of the sixteenth century. Storing Roman characters required more boxes to hold all the small capitals, accents, etc., than was the case with the Germanic fraktur characters, and using just one case was becoming unwieldy, and making the case extremely heavy.
|The purpose of the Upper Case is to hold the majiscule characters, ie capitals, and the small capitals, accented letters, and some punctuation and signs.
It is called an Upper case in U.K., Haut de casse in France, Bovenkast in Holland, Caps case or News Caps case in U.S., Caxa (cassa) Alta in Spain.
The standard case comprises 98 equal sized boxes, in two bays, as on the left.
The basic arrangment in each bay in the Upper Case is 7 rows of 7 boxes. This pattern is shown by Moxon in 1683, and is still in use today, although the overall dimensions of the case are smaller than in Moxon's time (and vary as between U.S., England, Scotland, etc.).
A twentieth century 'improvement', as on the left, was to make one bay have narrower boxes than the other, to allow a stronger fount of capitals, and weaker fount of the small caps.
|The outside dimensions of the full-size case are:
|Various row configurations in the caps bay are:
|In the United States of America, another pattern was introduced at the end of the nineteenth century, with some rows taller than others, again to allow more room for the capital letters, with the lesser-used small caps, etc. in the shorter boxes.
In some designs of case the caps rows contain 8, rather than 7, boxes per row, in each bay. Some cases contain 6 or 8 rows of boxes. In addition, other designs, eg Greek, have many more small boxes.
|And the various case styles are:
|Whilst separate Upper and Lower cases were essential for bookwork, the smaller founts in use for jobbing work were easier to hold in Job or Double cases, which appeared in the nineteenth century, and essentially comprised a (small) complete lower case, with half an upper case in the third bay.