strange/unknown tiny type

I purchased this tiny lead type on eBay last week. The pictures of the type on eBay were out of focus and the seller informed me it was the best she could do. I wanted to buy 1/2 inch type for my small presses, but the tiny type turn out to be something totally different. The type is 12 pt. If you have any idea how to use this tiny metal type, your input will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

image: tiny type 1.jpg

tiny type 1.jpg

image: tiny type 2.jpg

tiny type 2.jpg

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I believe that is type meant for use in a Multigraph. The rotary drum has slots in it, into which the specially-shaped type slides in the correct order. As the drum rotates the type passed ink rollers and then an impression cylinder carrying the paper. It’s basically rotary letterpress with handset type. This may be a Typewriter face, used to print “individually typed” letters to potential customers.

Don’t throw it away — there are collectors of Multigraphs who can probably use it.


These look like they’re for Rowland Hill’s Patent Rotary Press - UK, c. 1836. The notches allow the individual sorts to slide into a slot on a cylinder - for inking and impression. The process requires a particular type of press. The article starts on p129, see image on p.138.

Bob and Bill,

Thank you so very much!

I’ve been Googling descriptions and pictures of the type for over a week without getting any correct results of what I had. Then in less than one hour, Bob and Bill give me that answer. You guys are better than Google.

I’ll put the type for sale later in the Briar Press classifies.

Thank you again,

Used on the Addressograph Multigraph office printers for overprinting and as a form of office duplicator. Also used by Roneo and sold as Roneo Type as well as under other names. The type would be held in containers for setting.

Here are some pictures of the casting machine and the final product. Type like this is till being cast in Darmstadt by Rainer Gerstenberg. In German they’re called ‘Kurztypen’.

image: P1050536.jpg


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If anyone wants a small diameter cylinder to take this type -
from a Tickopress machine, its free to first asking , save that I’d expect the postage. Probably not worth it to the USA, but UK no prob. The Scottish Type Museum has a complete machine with the relevant type, Gill Sans in 2 face sizes.
Our Army Ordnance Depots used to use these in the late 1950s for small labels. And to add that believe that UK Monotype casters have been modified to produce this type.

I’m a little late to comment on this, but I have a Thompson Typecaster that looks like it was setup to cast this type. It may be the only one in existence left setup this way. It will never cast them again as I think it is missing the mat holder for it.[email protected]/albums/72157672757536367