We’ve received an email from Wolfgang Hartmann, Director of Neufville/Bauer confirming that type casting operations ceased in 2008. I had know this was the case, but this is truly bad news to have confirmed.
I have asked for additional information as he is willing to provide that might flesh out some kind of report on the state of casters and matrices. This may not be information he wishes to provide.
An inventory list was provided of the remaining stock of zinc type for bookbinding, and metal types in boxed form, or wrapped fonts. The list is in Spanish, and while I have partially interpreted meaning, some clarity on numbers has been enquired about and further information will be forthcoming. Suffice to say, the quantities are bare bones with a range of sizes from around 12 – 20pt.
That stated, the types are on a Didot body (not pica), and it appears, on a European .928″ height to paper, rather than the .918″ American standard. I have enquired about milling to height.
See the comments for additional information.
Welcome to the Type Consortium.
The aim of this site will be to gauge interest in, and pool resources to purchase letterpress type in quantity from the few traditional type foundries still in operation. The advantage will be two-fold: lower prices for purchasers, more work for the foundries.
Contrary to the opinion of some with vested interest in other technologies, itâ€™s my belief that letterpress cannot be done without type, and specifically, â€œfoundry typeâ€. Due to the hardness of the metal amalgam which makes up foundry type, there is the ability to cast designs otherwise unavailable in other systems such as Monotype, or the several line casting technologies. Fine serifs, italic kerns, light weights, and script designs can only be cast in hard foundry metal, and be expected to hold up to more than a single press run.
Type has always been a capital investment, and beyond that, type is captured energy in a world concerned with energy usage and efficiency. Laying good type in a case and treating it properly means that the cost of the materials, and the energy input to create it, is available to be used and reused again.