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A Monotype Composing Machine (1925)


Ralf Herrmann

This silent film was restored from a print sent from the U.K. to New Zealand in 1925.

The film starts with a brief overview of the Monotype Works buildings as well as the company homes for workers. See hundreds of Monotypes being built in the factory from raw materials to the casting machine and keyboards. 

Around 17:00, we watch the process of making a letter mould from drawing, to wax mould, to punch, to final matrix including using a Benton Engraving Machine. At 28:00, you can see the perforated punch paper being produced.

At 30:00, you can see the factory canteen where the labor force eats lunch as well as the end of the day when everyone leaves by foot or bicycle.

At 33:25 minutes, His Majesty the King, Duke of York (whom "The King's Speech" was based on) visits the Monotype factory, which was obviously a very big deal. He inspects the workers and factory and then learns how to type on a Monotype keyboard. A hearty farewell is given as he leaves the factory.

At 38:30 you see a 15 minute detailed explination of how a Monotype works from keyboard to casting. Finally at 53:10 the Monotype Schools for teaching keyboarding and casting as well as displays of Monotype batteries in various print shops in London. 

See more printing, journalism, and typographic-related films at: printingfilms.com


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