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Agfa Monotype Corporation

The Monotype Chronicles
1954– 1959



Castellar (Series 600) by John Peters.

Higonnet-Moyroud phototypesetting system entered field trial as the Photon 100 at the Patriot Ledger newspaper in Quincy, Massachusetts.

Georges Bafour of the Imprimerie Nationale, André Blanchard, and Francois Raymond framed a patent application in France which represented one of the earliest proposals for a computer-controlled composition system. It envisaged the use of a digital computer for text processing and became known as the BBR patent.

Monophoto Filmsetter first shown in the USA.

Spectrum (Series 556) by Jan van Krimpen. Originally cut by Enschedé in 1952.

Klang (Series 593) by Will Carter.

Monophoto Filmsetter actively promoted in marketplace for first time.

The Monotype Corporation Ltd. returned to 43 Fetter Lane in London following the re-building of Monotype House.

The Monotype Corporation Ltd. acquired Pictorial Machinery Ltd., a manufacturer of graphic reproduction equipment.

Linofilm phototypesetting system, containing a multiplicity of thermionic valves, was tentatively exhibited.

John Dreyfus appointed Typographical Adviser to the Monotype Corporation Ltd. on the retirement of Stanley Morison.

Monotype School in London moved to Cursitor Street from 54 Fetter Lane.

Lanston Industries Inc. formed as a holding company and as an instrument for business diversification: the Lanston Monotype Machine Company was a constituent of the new organization.

Phototypesetting developments of Higonnet and Moyroud reached the routine production stage with the Photon 200 machine.



Joanna (Series 478) by Eric Gill released to the trade. Originally cut by the Caslon foundry for handsetting in 1931. J. M. Dent, the publishers, bought exclusive rights to the design in 1938 and had matrices made for Monotype composition.

Jack Matson appointed Managing Director of the Monotype Corporation Ltd. on the retirement of E. Silcock.

Dante (Series 592) by Giovanni Mardersteig. Originally cut by Charles Malin for the Officina Bodoni in 1955.

Individual and interchangeable photo-matrices introduced for the Monophoto Filmsetter to replace the solid glass plate or grid previously supplied with 255 immutable characters. It was a development that clinched initial commercial acceptance of the machine.

First Monophoto Filmsetter installed globally at the Government Press in Pretoria, South Africa which had earlier tried unsuccessfully a Rotofoto system invented by George Westover, a former employee of the Monotype Corporation.

First Monophoto Filmsetter installed in Britain by Photoprint Plates Ltd. of Basildon, Essex.

First Monophoto Filmsetter installed in the USA at the Philadelphia plant of Westcott & Thomson Inc.

Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI) formed to serve as a focal point for typographic interests and to secure copyright protection of original and proprietary type designs.

Wynkyn de Worde Society formed on 12 September, a luncheon club meeting bi-monthly at Stationers’ Hall in London with a membership interested in fine printing.

Pepita (Series 613) by Imre Reiner.

Hans Schneider appointed Head of Typographic Design at the Lanston Monotype Machine Company.

First production model of the Linofilm delivered to the National Geographic magazine.

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