Matrix monocular optical depth testing instrument
- The Monotype Corporation Limited
Matrix monocular optical depth testing instrument, Plant No.2383, made by The Monotype Corporation Ltd., Salford, Redhill, Surrey, England, 1961. The instrument is fitted with a ‘John Bull’ dial micrometre by British Indicators Ltd. Used in the production of Monotype matrices to measure the depth of letter characters.
There are 82 separate processes needed to transform a designer’s drawing (of a letter, figure, punctuation, or symbol) into a piece of Monotype metal type for printing. A pantograph is used to trace and cut the letter from a copper pattern into a piece of steel called a punch. After being hardened, the punch is driven into a piece of bronze using a crank press to produce a matrix. The finished matrix is ready to go to the Monotype Composition Caster where molten metal is pumped through a mould against the matrix to produce a piece of type.
This machine is one of many machines used in the process to make a 0.2 inch or 0.4 inch matrix.
The Type Archive has a functioning Monotype matrix workshop containing around 70 machines and pieces of equipment. It is the only one of its kind in the world and matrices are still produced for customers.