Page 12 - March 2015
P. 12

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR                       paper towers. At the centre of the keyboard
                                               there was a controller switch which if po-
AN OPERATOR'S READ                             siƟoned in the centre allowed both paper
Dear Editor, I was most interested in your     ribbons to be perforated or if posiƟoned to
article in the February SP on the History      the right allowed only the leŌ paper ribbons
of the Monotype Corporation. Being at          to be perforated. A really unique and, on
one time a Monotype Keyboard operator          occasions, very useful adaptation where,
myself I was staggered to see the photo-       for example the text had to be composed
graph of the Keyboard Room at the United       in 8 point for a magazine and at the same
States Government PrinƟng Office showing         Ɵme, in 11 point for a book. Unfortunately,
the hundreds of operators tapping away.        I never got the opportunity to put this into
During my Composing apprenticeship in          pracƟce myself.
Bristol a life-time away, I wanted to be
trained as a Keyboard Operator but the            I shall certainly order copy of the book
company would not allow me the Ɵme to          your arƟcle so ably illustrated. Thank you
go to the Monotype school in Bristol during    for bringing back some great memories
working hours, so I paid for myself to go      for me.
on Saturday mornings and I sƟll have the
receipt for the 14 shillings I paid for the                               Ron Prosser (9405)
tuiƟon which I really enjoyed.
                                               VHS CASE REPURPOSING
   I also have my copy of the Monotype Key-
board Operator’s Manual which was given        Dear Editor, Pleased to hear you are staying
to me as a prize in 1954 by the College of     on a while. I am sending a small 'Ɵp' contri-
Technology, Bristol, ‘for success in Typog-    buƟon but would first like to say I enjoy the
raphy’ and in looking it out again it brought  Name the Press item, and perhaps it could
back so many memories of that Ɵme.             be extended to include other prinƟng items.
                                               Now for the Ɵp...
   One thing that always intrigued me and
may not be commonly known was that a              I have recently been sorƟng some seldom
Monotype Keyboard operator could set a         used type to sell and needed small boxes
job in two different sizes at the same Ɵme!     to hold the different founts. Other people
This was done by using a Duplex Keyboard       have probably found this but I suddenly
consisƟng of one set of keybanks and two       realised that old VHS tape boxes would do
                                               the job. Each box will hold 8lbs of type and
                                               there are lugs on the open side into which
                                               one can slide a piece of reglet to support
                                               the contents. For smaller quantities the
                                               space can be packed with a bigger piece of
                                               wood or whatever comes to hand. Scour-
                                               ing local charity shops I have stocked up
                                               about forty cases, most without charge,
                                               and now have a large collecƟon of unhoused
                                               tapes, including an alarming number of Cliff
                                               Richard concerts.

                                                                         Peter Criddle (6562)
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