0.4 inch composition punches for Unger Fraktur (typeface series number: 205)

0.4 inch composition punches for Unger Fraktur (typeface series

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0.4 inch composition punches for Unger Fraktur (typeface series
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

0.4 inch composition punches for Unger Fraktur (typeface series number: 205), font size 13D. In an original wooden box and no suffix relating to the typeface is marked. Manufactured by Monotype Corporation.

A Monotype punch is an engraved piece of hardened steel with a reverse-reading type character (letter, numeral or ornament) in relief. They were made by tracing patterns on a vertical pantograph machine. After cutting, the face of the punch was ground to the correct measurements denoted on the relevant chart for the typeface and size. Punches were made in standard sizes: 0.2in (0.51cm) x 0.2in, 0.4in (1.02cm) x 0.4in, 1in (2.54cm) x 1in, and 1in x 1.35in (3.43cm). If a Monotype punch became damaged it could be replaced, identically, using the pattern.

Patterns and punches were the artefacts that Monotype created and preserved to be able to make matrices on demand for their customers. The punch was stamped into a piece of phosphor bronze that made a matrix from which type could be cast. Eighty-two successive operations, including inspections through microscopes, were required to produce every perfect Monotype composition matrix. Patterns, punches and matrices were very valuable to the company and were kept in strong rooms at the Monotype factory in Surrey.

The Monotype Corporation produced metal matrices as well as machines that composed and cast type. The user of a Monotype machine could cast as much fresh type as they needed from a set of matrices. Composition matrices were made from a remarkable collection of typefaces designed there between 1900 and 1995. It included historical revivals such as Plantin, traditional typefounders’ designs such as Goudy Old Style and original Monotype designs such as Albertus.


Printing & Writing
Monotype Corporation Collection
Object Number:
metal (unknown), steel (metal) and wood (unidentified)
overall: 43 mm x 155 mm x 255 mm,
punch - marking tool