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Monotype is a machine for making metal types and it was invented at the end of 19th century in United States. The machine actually contains of two devices: keyboard and caster. Using the keyboard you type in the text and the machine punches the holes into the paper that signify different letters. Caster then casts the metal types based on the info that it reads from the perforated paper. TYPA's monotype is made in 1963 and it used to work in Karl Mattiesen print house in Tartu. At the moment the monotype is being fixed and is hopefully in a fully working condition soon. The machine was donated to TYPA by Greif print house.

TYPA’s previous designer Mana describes monotype:

I find Monotype the most fascinating and mysterious machine in TYPA. Mysterious, because it is really complicated and also because we still haven’t got it fully working. I have seen the working monotypes in print houses and museums in Germany and Belgium and I cannot wait for the day when this one here will also start to hiss and clatter and cast piles of metal types!

Monotype is a machine for making metal types and it was invented at the end of 19th century in United States. The machine actually contains of two devices: keyboard and caster. Using the keyboard you type in the text and the machine punches the holes into the paper that signify different letters. Caster then casts the metal types based on the info that it reads from the perforated paper. Monotype working in action can be seen in this video.

Monotype was donated to TYPA by Greif print house. This machine was produced in 1963 and before it was brought to TYPA, it was used in print house in Vallikraavi street, where now the restaurant “Vilde and Vine” and “Shooters” bar is located. Back in the days this building was a print house – in Soviet times Hans Heidemann’s and during first Estonian Republic time Karl Mattiesen’s. Last time the machine was working was in this building in 1995.

At the moment the machine needs a little TLC and training of the specialists who can teach the necessary knowledge and skills to have this machine running.

If you want to support TYPA’s preservation and promotion activities, you can do so by  adopting one of our machines. The adopted machine will still remain in place in TYPA, but will receive a gold label with the name of a good supporter and free admission to the museum.

If you want to support TYPA’s preservation and promotion activities, you can do so by  adopting one of our machines. Yearly adoption fee for the monotype is € 125. The adopted machine will still remain in place in TYPA, but will receive a gold label with the name of a good supporter and free admission to the museum.

Send us your adoption request, and we will get back to you with more information on how you can support us.

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