News for March

It’s been a while since Skyline released a new antique revival type face. For March we are pleased to bring you Argentine in 18 point. McGrew notes that the face originated in England about 1860, and was “recut” in 1962 by John Carroll. Those are the matrices we have but it’s not quite accurate to call it a new cutting. The mats are in fact electro-deposited—that is, they were made by chemically forming copper shells over pieces of existing type (and thus faithfully replicating the original type, plus any damage or wear). Carroll’s mats went to his associate Charlie Broad at Typefounders of Phoenix, and that whole collection is now held here at Skyline. Oddly enough this face is not shown in Charlie’s specimen sheets No. 8 and 9 from 1964 and 1965, which were likely his last, since he died in ’65. The matrix collection then passed to Los Angeles Type Foundry, which did cast and sell Argentine. It’s caps and points only, no figures or lowercase.

Recast and back in stock: Border No. 88 (18pt) and Two-Color Border No. 1331B.

Skyline offers certain decorative material cast from original American Type Founders matrices. ATF utilized several different “drives” (the depth to which a character is engraved into the matrix) and each required a mold to match, so that the type was 0.918″ standard height. Our first ATF casting was done with the regular molds on our Thompson casters. This yielded over-height type, which was corrected by the very laborious process of milling the foot of each piece. Anticipating much more casting from ATF mats, we took one of our spare molds to a machine shop and had it precisely ground to match the ATF drive designated B-3 (0.0968″). With this we produced our second casting of Alpha-Blox. The success of that has led to plans for modification of three more molds, to enable casting of ATF mats with three other drives. Unfortunately the machine shop went Tango Uniform*, so we moved to Plan B: get the equipment we need and do the job in-house. Here’s our new 500-lb Boyar-Schultz horizontal surface grinder arriving at the shop.

Remember the Free-Shipping sale we launched last year for Pi Day, 3/14? (For those who are really new at this, the Greek letter Pi not only represents a mathematical constant, but also is a traditional letterpress term for metal type in quantity that is accidentally dropped, spilled, or otherwise hopelessly mixed up.) On March 14 only, enter Coupon Code 3/14 when you place an order on the web site and you’ll get a discount equal to our flat $10.00 domestic shipping charge. This is the first, last and only notice, so load up your wish list and be ready to pounce!

*If this term is unfamiliar to you, ask anyone who has been in the military to explain it.

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