The second day of the 2018 ATF conference again took place at M&H Type.
After a continental breakfast, journeymen Brian Ferrett and Chris Godek and apprentice Paul Kantlehner presented The Who, What, When, Where, & Why of M&H Type, wherein they gave a brief history of M&H Type and its place in San Francisco history, along with their outlook for the future.
The remainder of the morning was an open house of M&H Type, and provided time for setup of the swap meet and auction items. I found that M&H had a guillotine identical to ours, which we are having a bit of mechanical trouble with, so I took plenty of close-up pictures of the clutch and brake mechanisms so I could compare them to ours.
Ivan Gulkov spent this time demonstrating type casting using his handmould and CNC-cut matrix. His matrix is tiny: it does not have the extended body of regular foundry matrices and if I recall correctly it is the same width as the cast letter body (like Linotype matrices). Ivan had a minor case of the shakes that morning, and along with the tiny matrix size, that really put a crimp in his casting rate.
Lewis Mitchell, who has worked for M&H Type and its predecessor companies for over 60 years, was also there, telling tales about the old days and some of the quirks of their casting equipment. Unfortunately I never had a chance to ask him about the shims they placed beside their composition caster moulds.
After having our fill of pizza for lunch, the Swap Meet was opened, but only people who drove to the conference had much to sell, so there wasn’t much there besides type from Skyline Type Foundry. Several people (including myself) had pre-ordered an alphabet of 60-point Goudy Cloister Initials which Greg had brought along, so these transactions mostly took place at this time.
Early in the afternoon, the ATF auction was held. Lewis Mitchell had contributed many items such as old M&H specimen books, ephemera, small tools, and books, and along with that there were a few items from others as well. His contributions alone garnered over $1000 in sales.
I purchased two items at the auction:
The first is a book from Oxford University Press describing how mathematical works are to be typeset, including the use of the Monotype composition caster for this purpose.
Monotype’s actual “Mathematics Casting” attachment is not mentioned, but special typecase arrangements including superscript and subscript characters are provided along with guidelines for layout and spacing.
My other auction purchase is a brand new 12 point mould made by English Monotype Corporation for casting composition work on an American caster.
After the auction we picked up all our keepsakes and then all had to clear out of the room so the caterers could set up the banquet.
Many of us spent the time having another look in the casting room, looking over items in the gallery, shooting the breeze, and polishing off a bottle of whiskey provided by Mark Barbour.
At 7pm the banquet was held, a buffet service whose quality rivaled (though did not surpass) the banquet four years back in Salem. Once everyone was stuffed, Rich Hopkins gave his 40th Anniversary presentation, which amongst other topics, reminisced about the very soggy 1986 ATF conference at Dave Churchman’s Boutique de Junque in Indianapolis IN. Plenty of anecdotes about leaky roofs and photos of familiar-looking faces with full heads of dark hair!
The evening closed with a discussion of the location of the next conference. Both the MacMillan/Wrzesinski team from Wisconsin and Stan Nelson seemed to be willing to host in four years, but all the ideas for 2020 seemed to be for sites with no representatives present. Later on, the Wisconsinites seemed to soften to the idea of doing 2020, though.
Thank you for sharing with those of us who could not make it!