Monotype Machine History
BENTON PANTOGRAPH
Benton Matrix Engraver
MECHANICAL PUNCH CUTTING

THE BENTON PANTOGRAPH was modified by Lanston to cut optically correct type through a 'wide range of point sizes'. The patented trunnion gear is hidden from casual observation by the large cylindrical shroud covering the upper portion of the machine. Shown here is an upper-case 'B' pattern held in position with magnetic stops and by a pneumatically produced vacuum. The operator traces the outline of the character with the stylus inserted in a follower. This action works the steel punch stock around the revolving cutting quill which is fixed in the spindle. The steel punch must be lowered, moved and raised for cutting the bowls of the counters*. Different cutting tools are slavishly applied in order to achieve the variants of design intentions. A series of followers are employed sequentially for the various stages involved in the cutting of a punch. Needless to say, punchcutting required workmanship of a very high order. Benton Pantographs provided subtle typographical enhancements unavailable in computer programs to this day. Optical scaling is one such feature gone sadly amiss.

External link to the Printing Museum in London showing the work surface of a Benton Pantograph.

GERALD GIAMPA

TYPE COUNTERS: It was customary to punch the punch itself forming the bowl of letters such as o, b, p when cutting punches by hand. Hence the nomenclature, counter punch. Letters such as (i ) and (l) did not require a counter punch. With a Benton Pantograph however, the counter, or rather bowl of the letter was cut directly. Although a counter punch was not required the terminology survived.

Benton Puchcutter
BENTON PANTOGRAPH MACHINE
BENTON PANTOGRAPH
Benton Type Cutter
MECHANICAL TYPE PUNCH CUTTING


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