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National Amateur Press Association
Monthly Bundle Sample, Campane 194, p.2

small capitals) to lay a font which rarely weighed over ten pounds was obviously a waste of case and stand space. Who was the first printer to devise a single case to hold both upper and lower case letters as well as figures, points and spacing material will probably never be known, but it is easy enough to reconstruct the probable reasoning behind the action.

By 1836 the general plan of the job or double case had become standardized in Britain and the U.S. External dimensions were the same as for the traditional upper and lower cases of the country of use. The case was divided into equal thirds by crossbars, the left and center thirds given over to the appropriate lower case lay and the right thirds devoted to 49 equal size boxes for the capital letters and miscellaneous characters. Why the capital side of the new case was put at the right is an unanswered question, for the capital letters were laid in the left side of the traditional upper case both in America and Britain at that time.

But the capital letters side of the job case had a serious shortcoming. Its 49 equal size boxes, each about 1" by 1" inside dimensions in Britain and 1" by 2" in the wider American case, were not large enough to hold some of the most frequently used capitals (E, A, N, O, R, S, T) of job fonts of size greater than double pica or 24 point. This deffciency was particularly troublesome in the case of heavy or wide letter faces. Moreover, the top two rows, devoted to signs, accented letters and fractions in the traditional upper case, were largely unused in the job or double case as these characters were seldom if ever included in display letter or job fonts.


    Last updated: 02/19/2000