Monotype Moulds and their Numbering Sequence

The following relates to moulds manufactured in the United Kingdom.

According to the Monotype Recorder XL No.3 of 1956, the Monotype Corporation made thirteen different types of mould. For the composition mould alone, there were seventy different heights-to-paper. Further, there were four major and several minor point systems, and for example, the Anglo-American composition mould had seventeen sizes between 4pt and 14pt, and the same for the Didot system. There was in addition more than one version of the Fournier system, and of course, there were the two body sizes, being a pica of 0.1667 and a pica of 0.1670. And then there were the pre-point sizes (Brevier, Bourgeois, etc).
Each mould produced had an individual serial number. Unfortunately the Type Archive in London does not have any of the Mould Department records, so the logic of the numbering system used is conjectural at present. The range of numbering appears to be:

10 (or might be lower?)early style composition moulds, and display moulds for the composition caster indicated by the prefix S
20000improved pattern composition moulds
22000new style composition moulds
and quad & space moulds 1-36pt for the composition caster
and dual type 4½ and 9pt moulds
and split fraction moulds 8-12pt
7200014-36pt display moulds for the super caster
and 75000
42-72pt display moulds for the super caster
763004-18pt lead and rule moulds for the super caster
770001-3pt lead and rule moulds for the super caster
7800024-72pt furniture moulds for the super caster
90000lead and rule moulds for type & rule caster, or composition caster with attachment
100000constant height composition moulds
(and when old style moulds were converted to constant height they had 100000 added to their number)
300000high speed composition moulds
4000000.030 drive American high speed composition moulds
A suffix ES indicated an exchange scheme mould
The prefixes A and B, and suffix E, which have been encountered, have still to be identified

The difference between improved pattern (20000 upwards, and new style (22000 upwards) composition moulds has yet to be clarified. Also, whether for example a mould numbered 16 is, or is not, the same as one numbered S16.

The Monotype Book of Information of 1970 lists the following styles of mould:

Constant height composition moulds, 5pt to 14pt (separate moulds) (and see notes 1 and 5 below)
Display mould with insets for 14pt, 18pt, 24pt, 30pt, 36pt, for type and rule caster, or composition caster with display attachments (and see note 2 below)
Dual type mould, 4½pt and 9pt.
Duplex mould, 14pt, 16pt and 18pt.
Large type composition mould, 14pt to 24pt (clarified as insets for 14pt, 16pt, 18pt, 24pt)
Lead and rule mould, 1½pt to 12pt, for the composition or type and rule caster
Quad and space mould, 1pt to 36pt setwise, in any body size from 5pt to 14pt, for the composition or type and rule caster (and see note 3)
Short lead and rule mould, 1½pt to 3pt insets, and any length from 2pt to 36pt, for the composition or type and rule caster
Split fraction mould, 8pt to 12pt, and insets for 4, 4½, 5, 5½, 6pt set widths, for the composition or type and rule caster
Super caster display mould, 14pt to 36pt (clarified as insets for 14pt, 18pt, 24pt, 30pt, 36pt). Also insets for quads and spaces. (and see note 4)
Super caster display mould, 42pt to 72pt (clarified as insets for 42pt, 48pt, 60pt, 72pt). Also insets for quads and spaces, and 48, 60, 72pt low space and hollow quotation insets, and 72x72pt and 72x36pt wooden-cored quotations
Super caster furniture mould, with insets for 24pt, 36pt, 48pt, 60pt, 72pt. In addition, stereo supports in 24pt, 36pt, 48pt, and full-face rules in 18pt, and two-piece type high furniture in 36, 48, 60, 72pt
Super caster lead and rule mould, 1pt to 3pt, any length up to 25"
Super caster lead and rule mould, 4pt to 18pt, and dashes from 9 to 16 picas
Triplex mould, 24D
Palace Script mould, 14pt to 42pt (clarified as separate moulds, 14pt, 18pt, 24pt, 36pt, 42pt)
Note 1:the composition and super caster were advertised as casting from 4½pt upwards. The earlier new and enlarged edition of c.1964 shows type body sizes of 4¼pt, 4½pt, 5½pt, 6½pt, 7½pt, 10½pt, 13½pt, which overall gives the seventeen sizes of composition mould as stated in the Monotype Recorder
Note 2:the Book of Information notes that for casting 14D and 18D Univers on Anglo-American bodies, 16pt and 20pt (or 22pt) moulds are needed. The earlier Book of Information includes a 16pt inset
Note 3:The .1964 Book of Information does not list the 14pt body size
Note 4:The .1964 Book of Information includes insets for 16pt, 20pt, 22pt.
Note 5:The Book of Information of 1950 does not list the moulds, but does show composition type point sizes as 4¼pt, 5pt, 5½pt, 6pt, 6½pt, 7pt, 7½pt, 8pt, 9pt, 10pt, 11pt, 12pt, 13pt, 13½pt, 14pt. The 4¼pt relates to series 26, 327 and 362 but in the .1964 edition series 26 has become 4½pt.

The Book of Information of 1950 lists type body sizes as Minikin (3pt), Brilliant (3½pt), Gem (4pt), Diamond (4½pt), Pearl, 5pt, Ruby or Agate (5½pt), 6pt, Nonpareil, Emerald (6½pt), 7pt, Minion, Brevier, 8pt, Bourgeois, 9pt, Long Primer, 10pt, Small Pica, 11pt, 12pt, Pica, 13pt, English, 14pt, 2-line Brevier, 16pt, Great Primer, 18pt, Paragon, 20pt, Double Pica, 22pt, 24pt, 2-line Pica, 2-line English, 28D, 30pt, 36pt, 42pt, 48pt, 54pt, 60pt, 72pt. Presumably moulds were made by Monotype for all these sizes, though possibly not the smallest sizes, and some only on special request.

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This page was written by David Bolton in 2016 and last updated 4 August 2016.