Pickering's Upper Case

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PQRSTVW âêîôû*
1234567 HIKLMNO
890£çñct PQRSTVW
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This layout is given in Charles L. Pickering's Compositors' Equipment, Pitman, 1946 reprinted 1955. Although stated to be the normal standard, it differs from many English lays by having the small caps in the top left rows, rather than the bottom, as does the layout shown by the Western Australian Education Department, Technical Extension: Course for Composing Apprentices of c.1960, but that differs in several other respects, in particuar by showing the figures in the lower case. Pickering puts the figures in the Upper case, as does Southward's Modern Printing (1898 to 1954) Old Upper, but not his Improved, also shown by Tarr, Printing Today (1945). Southward and Tarr also put fractions above the cap rows, whereas Pickering puts the accented letters there. Pickering keeps k in the Upper case, as with Southward's Old Upper, but not his Improved Upper. The em rule is in the Lower case, and there are no fractions.

Early cases, e.g. Smith (1755) had both caps and small caps in the top rows, but the caps were on the left. Hazard (Stower 1808) moved them to the bottom rows, but still with caps on the left. By 1882, Southward had moved them to the right. Also, from at least Moxon (1683) onwards, figures and accents were in the Upper case, by 1882 with fractions joining them.

The companion lower case is Pickering. The empty configuration is that of Moxon (1683), and Smith (1755), Luckombe (1771), Stower (1808), Miller & Richard (1873), Southward (1882), Mackellar (1885), Barnhart Bros & Spindler's News (1890s), Stephenson Blake & Co (1922), Caslon (1925) etc.

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This page was written in 2016 by David Bolton and last updated 16 May 2016.