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Operating Monotypes and Monotype operators known to me (composition)

Other than Linoptypes (and Intertypes) where there is still a large number operating at various museums and private presses, operating Monotypes are spare, as there are the people who can operate them. Since I started learning the Monotype keyboard and composition caster with Erich Hirsch in Hamburg (you can read about my adventures here on these pages), I tried to find out about and get in contact with others that operate them on a regular basis and are able to maintain them in an operational condition.

I will update this post as I learn more, and I will focus on composition casters. There a few more operating super casters. DISCLAIMER: These are the ones that I know of and which I have managed to add, and where I am certain about the condition of the machines and the state of operation. I will be happy to learn of others and add them to the list.

Museum der Arbeit, Hamburg-Barmbek, Germany: Erich Hirsch

To my knowledge, the Museum der Arbeit is the only place in Europe which has regular public demonstrations and operation of the Monotype composition caster. Erich and his colleague Daniel Janssen explain and demonstrate keyboard and caster every Monday and Wednesday at 14:00 hours. Operation is in the original way, with a papertape punched by the Monotype keyboard. Erich is a typesetter, keyboard and caster operator by trade and has been in the business for 70 years. He keeps the machine in impeccable condition and uses it to produce type for smaller and larger projects. Daniel is an engraver by training and has produced monotype mats. Source: private communication

Museum für Druckkunst, Leipzig

The Museum für Druckkunst, Leipzig has a composition caster and a supercaster which are operational in principle, but not currently used or regularly demonstrated. The Museum has also recently (re-)aquired the collection from the Officin Haag-Drugulin. In addition, the Museum owns a number of foundry type casters. Source: private communication

Now history: OHD, Dresden, Germany: Max Lotze and Heike Schnotale

Until the end of the last year, the Officin Haag-Drugulin had Germanys largest collection of working Monotype equipment in use for regular production, and with Max as casting machine operator and Heike as typesetter and keyboard operator (young) staff to operate and maintain the equipment. Operation was in the original punched papertape way. With the death of the owner Eckehard SchumacherGebler, the OHD unfortunately ceased to exist. The equipment has been taken over by the Museum für Druckkunst, Leipzig, and there are plans to take up operation again, albeit yet unclear to which extend this is possible. Source: private communication

Alpirsbacher Offizin, Alpirsbach, Germany

Monotype composition caster in working order, nice video on their homepage where Erich Hirsch demonstrates the machine. Source: Web, private communication

Atelier Typo de la Cité, Lausanne, Switzerland: Nicolas Regamy

Nicolas Regamy is operating a Monotype which he has taken over from Thomas Siemon (carpe plumbum). He operates the composition caster with an computer interface for his private press. Source: Facebook

Offizin Parnassia Vättis, Switzerland

Stephan Burkhardt and Hans-Ulrich Frey produce fine books with their Monotype composition casters and have amassed an impressing number of matrices. Their homepage shows an matrix engraver, and they have produced their own typefaces and ornaments. There is no keyboard in their gallery, but they don’t seem to use an computer interface. Source: Web

Typa, Tartu, Estonia

Typa, much more than a printing museum in Tartu, has a monotype composition caster and recently (summer 2023) brought over Ian Gabb to help get it into operation. No news yet however if they managed. Source: Facebook

Vingaards officin, Viborg, Denmark

Ebbe Sörensen and his fellow volunteers at the printing museum have a composition caster and keyboard, most likely in working condition. Source: Private communication

Museum of Industry, Gent, Belgium

They apparently have a composition caster in near working order, but no regular operation or people on place that can operate it. Source: Web, Facebook

Letter-Kunde, Antwerp, Belgium

Patrick Goosens owns the probably largest private printing collection that is and has a particular interest in printing history, types and type foundry. He is regularly presenting results of his research at conferences, and collaborates on printing projects. His workshop(s?) seem to have at least one composition caster in working order and regular operation. Source: Web, Instagram

Tipoteca Italiana, Cornuda (Treviso), Italy

One of the larger printing museums, they seem to have an impressive collection of Monotype material and apparently both composition and super caster(s?) in operating condition. Unclear if they have people to operate it. Source: Web, Facebook

National Print Museum, Dublin, Ireland

They have a composition caster and keyboard on display, and a number of matrix cases. Two very nicely narrated and explanatory videos which demonstrate their operation, so they have been operational, but a Facebook post from 2021 states that there is works to do. They did recently (2023) search for an Monotype caster operator. Source: Visit, web, Facebook

Effra Press and Typefoundry, North Yorkshire, UK; Nick Gill

Nick Gill operates an Monotype composition caster with computer interface, as well as a supercaster. Source: Web, Instagram

The Alembic Press, Oxford, UK: Claire and David Bolton

Operating composition and super casters, with keyboard / paper tape. Source: Web

Greenboathousepress, Vernon BC, Canada: Jason Dewinetz

Jason has a composition caster and a super, and is currently working a lot on engraving matrices for large type to be cast on the Super. Not sure if his composition caster is in operation. Source: private communication.

Hill & Dale. Private Press & Typefoundry: Rich Hopkins

Rich is a legend in the private press movement operating monotypes, and has earned that status in many ways: Through his long-time committment as the editor and printer of the AFT newsletter, his works and teaching Mono U, the Monotype University, 2023 for the 10th and 11th time. Source: private communication, ATF newsletters

Bowerbox Press: Val Lucas

The Printing Stewards. The Greg Walthers Archive

The Press & Letterfoundry of MICHAEL & WINFRED BIXLER

Golgonooza Letter Foundry & Press: Julia Ferrari

Sycamore Press and Typefoundry: Jim Walczak

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