Date of Manufacture: unknown
Previous Owners: Stern & Faye Printers
Acquired: 2009
Restoration Status: Operational

The Monotype Composition Caster, first put into commercial production in 1900, is used to cast composed, justified type, including spaces and punctuation, and ranging from 6 to 14 points. Often used to cast type for “fine press” work such as books, it is also useful for printing tablature. The machine casts individual pieces of type, allowing for easy corrections and edits during the final composing and lockup steps of the printing process.

The composition caster reads a punched paper tape, which is created on the Monotype Composition Caster Keyboard, containing instructions for justification and content. These instructions guide the metal type casting using composition matrices that fit into a 15×15 grid in a special “case” or holder.

The Monotype keyboards combine five “qwerty” keyboards–one each for capital 
roman, lower case roman, capital italic, lower case italic and small 
capitals–with keys for punctuation, numerals and ligatures. The keyboards use a proprietary unit system, enabling them to calculate appropriate spacing for fully justified typesetting.

After use on the composition caster, punched paper tapes can be stored for later use for re-prints or 
subsequent editions.

Our composition casters and keyboards are from the foundry of C. Christopher Stern.

Watch a video of the comp caster inaugural run (February 24, 2013)
Watch a video of the composition caster keyboard

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