Monotype Composition Caster

Monotype Caster (from ECP)
Monotype Caster (from ECP)

Monotype described this as a machine which “…automatically casts and delivers lines of perfectly-spaced lines of hard, new, deep-cut single types, being controlled by the perforated paper ribbon produced on the keyboard”.

The key thing that marks the composition caster as different from their other casters is that this machine was designed to produce long passages of text-sized type: anything up to 14pt.  For bigger types an attachment was needed but the Monotype Super Caster was preferable.

This machine, too, demanded some essential, but interchangeable, parts —

  • Mould: this defines both the body size and the height of the type (usually 0.918″ in Britain)
  • Matrix Case: this is a case containing the brass moulds (or matrices) that are injected with molten metal to form the individual types.  The case holds more than one alphabet in a 15 x 15 or 15 x 17 layout.  The position of each character within the case is dictated by the width of that character
  • Normal Wedge: this is a metal wedge that defines the width of each character in the matrix case


Weight 1466 lb
Working Area 7′ x 7′
Gas consumption (for gas-heated machines) 20 cu. ft./hr
Electricity consumption 2 units/hour
Air Pressure 15 lbs/sq. in.
Speeds 140 – 180 rpm (depending on type size)
Driving pulley 14″
Motor ½ horsepower
Electric Heating Funditor or Rototherm
Pot capacity 85 lbs
Standard Measure (or line length) 4¼pt. to 14pt up to 60ems pica


Because this machine was pressed in to service to do all kinds of work, Monotype produced many attachments including —

  • Display: this is use to cast types of up to 36pt, but a speed regulator is also needed to get the caster to run at the correct speed
  • Duplex Mould, and Dual Type attachments used for casting exotic types
  • Ingot Feeder: to keep the molten metal in the machine constantly topped up
  • Large Type Composition: used to extend the size of the type that can be cast with automatic spacing and sequencing.  This extends the range of the machine to 24 point from 14 point
  • Lead and Rule: allowed for the creation of rules and leads from 1½pt to 12pt to any length from 6picas to 25 inches
  • Leading: allows for pre-cast rules to be inserted between lines as they are composed by the machine
  • Lighting: which included a magnifying glass to inspect the types as they were produced
  • Quadding and Centering: to help with casting space in centred or ranged-right or left lines
  • Reverse Delivery: to accommodate right-to-left-reading languages
  • Speed Regulators: to get the machine to work at the best speeds for larger types or rules and leads