Morneau Typographers

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1. Overview

Morneau Typographers was a firm of advertising typographers, not a typefoundry. They designed, composed, and cast work for clients, but to the best of my knowledge did not offer type for sale. They are, however, intertwined with the history of Typefounders, Inc. (of Phoenix) (and through them Skyline), Klinke/NA Graphics, and Castcraft / Typefounders of Chicago.

[Note: I am indebted to Fritz Klinke for most of the information here, and to Schuyler Shipley.]

1.1. Origins

The origins of Morneau Typographers are not entirely clear. Fritz Klinke has indicated that the firm as best known originated when Fred Mills (originally of Ft. Smith, Arkansas) moved his existing letterpress printing shop from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Phoenix, Arizona. A search in Google Books suggests that Mills printed under his own name (not "Morneau") while in Pittsburgh.

There was, however, a firm in Los Angeles operating as Morneau Typographers in the 1950s (from at least 1948). They were members of the Advertising Typographers Association of America, and their name appears, with a Los Angeles location, in several ads of that Association through the 1950s {Google Books, in snippet views}. A single entry in Typographical Journal (which turned up once in a Google Books search, in snippet view, but which Google will not deign to find again) indicated that Morneau Typographers in Los Angeles was "(formerly the House of Hartman)". The House of Hartman, typographers, in turn can be traced in Los Angeles to at least 1931 (again, in Google Books snippet views).

Fritz Klinke indicates that the equipment for Morneau Typographers in Phoenix was purchased from "a dealer" Los Angeles. Futher conclusions must at this point be left to the reader.

(There was also a Fred C. Morneau & Co. operating in Detroit, Michigan from at least 1916 to at least 1948. I have no idea if there was any connection.)

1.2. Operations in Phoenix

As established in Phoenix, Morneau Typographers operated as advertising typographers, and also as book typographers (a search of Google Books indicates that they set dozens of volumes). They did both Monotype and Linotype work (and later moved into photocomposition).

They were located in the "old downtown part" of Phoenix. A source (not Fritz or Sky) once told me that they were on Morneau Street, but maps of Phoenix do not indicate that such a street exists.

The were equipped to cast with at least the following machines: Linotype or compatible, Monotype display (sorts/"Orphan Annie") caster, Monotype composition caster, Thompson Type-Caster.

When Charles Broad moved his operation to Phoenix (which became Typefounders, Inc. (of Phoenix)) he worked with Morneau Typographers. Although he had (or eventually acquired) a Koike Type Caster, he also used Morneau typecasting equipment.

There is at present no evidence that Morneau Typographers ever commissioned the making of matrices.

1.3. Disposition

The building housing Morneau Typographers in Phoenix was acquired by the city by eminant domain for a driveway for a fire station. The physical plant was offered for sale in Type & Print in the 1988 timeframe.

The linecasting machinery and matrices were disposed of to destinations presently unknown at some point prior to 1989.

In 1989, Fritz Klinke/NA Graphics acquired two Monotype Composition Casters, a Monotype Keyboard, a Monotype display (sorts) caster, two Monotype Material Makers, parts, some Monotype display matrices, and many composition matrix fonts (including some which came via Charles Broad). Also miscellaneous new old stock ATF type.

The sorts caster was operated at NA Graphics in the 2005/6 timeframe, and was said by the operator to be in very good condition.

A Thompson Type-Caster, along with some number of matrix fonts, went to an unknown individual in Michigan.

Some of their (ordinary Monotype) display mats ended up at Castcraft / Typefounders of Chicago.

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