Monotype system

The Monotype system is a system for printing by hot-metal typesetting from a keyboard. The two most significant differences from the competing Linotype machine are:

  • It is divided into two machines, the Monotype keyboard and the Monotype caster, which communicate by perforated paper tape. It is not necessary to have the same number of each machine.
  • The Monotype caster casts individual letters, which are assembled into lines in a fashion similar to classical movable type. This requires a more complex high-speed water-cooled casting mold, but only requires one matrix per possible character.
A Monotype caster

A Monotype operator enters text on a Monotype keyboard, on which characters are arranged in the QWERTY arrangement of a conventional typewriter, but with this arrangement repeated multiple times. Thus, the typesetter moves his hands from one group of keys to another to type uppercase or lowercase, small capitals, italic uppercase or italic lowercase, and so on.

When the text nears the right margin, a drum on the keyboard indicates codes which are punched on the paper tape with special keys to indicate how the line is to be justified. The tape is then taken to a Monotype caster, which reads the tape and produces a column of justified type from which the text entered on the keyboard can be printed.