Type case

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An 18th century type case, and various tools for typesetting

A type case is a compartmentalized wooden box used to store movable type used in letterpress printing.[1]

Modern, factory-produced movable type was available in the late nineteenth century. It was held in the printing shop in a job case, a drawer about 2 inches high, a yard wide, and about two feet deep, with many small compartments for the various letters and ligatures. The most popular and accepted of the job case designs in America was the California Job Case, which took its name from the Pacific coast location of the foundries that made the case popular.[2] These cases allowed type to be compactly transported.

Traditionally, the capital letters were stored in a separate drawer or case that was located above the case that held the other letters; this is why capital letters are called "upper case" characters while the non-capitals are "lower case".[3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Fred Williams, Origin of the California Job Case, originally published in Type & Press, Fall 1992. Available online at apa-letterpress.com. Accessed online 2 May 2008.
  2. ^ National Amateur Press Association, Monthly Bundle Sample, Campane 194, The California Typecase by Lewis A. Pryor (Edited)
  3. ^ Glossary of Typesetting Terms, by Richard Eckersley, Charles Ellerston, Richard Hendel, Page 18