Linn Boyd Benton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Linn Boyd Benton (1844 in Little Falls, New York – 1932 in Plainfield, New Jersey) was an American typeface designer and inventor who invented the Benton Pantograph, an engraving machine which was capable not only of scaling a single font design pattern to a variety of sizes, but could also condense, extend, and slant the design. Mathematically, these are cases of affine transformation, which is the fundamental geometric operation of most systems of digital typography today, including PostScript.

Benton was joint owner of Benton, Waldo & Co. Type Foundry which became part of the original group of mergers forming the American Type Founders Company (ATF) in 1892, after which he was a director and chief consultant to ATF.

Benton invented many of the most important type founding technologies of the day, including a mould (1882), self spacing type (1883), a punch cutter (1885), combination fractions (1895), a type dressing machine (1901), a matrix and punch-cutting machine (1906), and automatic type-caster (1907), and a lining device for engraving matrices of shaded letters (1913).

In 1894, at the commission of the publisher of the Century Magazine, Theodore Low De Vinne, he designed his only type-face, the original Century. De Vinne wanted a blacker and more legible face than the typically thin type used before, and slightly condensed to fit the double-column format of the magazine. It was first used in 1895 and soon became enormously popular and many variations were later designed by his son Morris Fuller Benton.



  • Rollins, Carl Purlington American Type Designers and Their Work. in Print (magazine), V. 4, #1.
  • Jaspert, W. Pincus, W. Turner Berry and A.F. Johnson. The Encyclopedia of Type Faces. Blandford Press Lts.: 1953, 1983. ISBN 0-7137-1347-X.
  • MacGrew, Mac, "American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century," Oak Knoll Books, New Castle Delaware, 1993, ISBN 0-938768-34-4.
  • Friedl, Ott, and Stein, Typography: an Encyclopedic Survey of Type Design and Techniques Throughout History. Black Dog & Levinthal Publishers: 1998. ISBN 1-57912-023-7.

External links[edit]