Goudy's Deckel Pantograph

For Working Pattern Engraving before 1939

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1. The Deepdene Deckel Before 1939

I don't believe that Goudy ever published the name of the pantograph that he used for engraving working patterns at "Deepdene" before the 1939 fire. However, in the photograph on p. 89 of Bruckner, it is possible to read the manufacturer's name cast into one of the pantograph arms: F. Deckel, München. Friedrich Deckel of Munich was a major industrial pantograph engraver in the 20th century. The Deckel brand still survives as the Deckel Maho Gildemeister (DMG) division of Gildemeister AG. Deckel always made extremely fine machines. [1] This pantograph is also shown on a two-page spread (pp. 90-91) in Bruckner.

This particular Deckel is a machine of the configuration pioneered by the Taylor-Hobson machine in England. [2] (This configuration is more familiar to American machinists from the Gorton 3-U, P1-2, and related two-dimensional pantograph engravers; the early Gorton machines were produced under license from Taylor-Hobson). Theo Rehak identified Goudy's pantograph as a Deckel model 2G1 [3], but I have not been able to locate this model in the literature. It seems generally similar, however, to the (possibly later) Deckel models G1L and G1U.

Here is this machine as shown in Lewis' Behind the Type [4]:

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Here it is shown in Advertising and Selling (May 1939)

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In the photograph above, you can see "München" cast into the tracer arm. The rest of this arm (not visible in this photograph) says "F. Deckel".

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The photograph above reveals at least one interesting detail of Goudy's particular machine. Note the block tied to the circular hole in a lever on the upper right of the picture. This lever is a feature of Deckel pantographs (my Deckel GK21 has a similar lever, and a nearly identical lever is illustrated in the manual for the GK12). This lever provides for both coarse adjustment of the cutter height and for raising and lowering the cutter into the work. If the lever is moved down (as shown in the photo), the cutter is moved into the work; in this position the lever can also be rotated left-right to adjust the depth of cut. If the lever is moved up, a spring in the spindle assembly moves the cutter up, away from the work. Normally, it is not necessary to tie a heavy block to this lever in order to keep the cutter engaged; that Goudy has done so would seem to be an indication that there was some degree of wear in the spindle assembly on his machine.

This photograph dates from 1939. The hanging block is not present in the 1933 Kellerman film (which shows the same machine).

2. The 1943 Machine

In his discussion of his Scripps College Old Style in A Half-Century of Type Design and Typography: 1895-1945, Volume 2 (NY: The Typophiles, 1946): 226-227, Goudy reveals that after the 1939 fire destroyed his old mill studio he was unable, due to wartime restrictions, to obtain a replacement horiztonal pantograph for working pattern engraving until September of 1943. In the interim, he adapted his replacement E&PM Co. vertical pantograph to this service, but found this to be difficult.

He does not say what make and model of pantograph he acquired in 1943. It might have been another Deckel, but it might also have been any of a several other similar machines.

3. Notes

1. But, then again, so did Gorton. It isn't entirely clear to me why Goudy acquired a machine from Munich when he could have had a virtually identical machine from Racine.

2. The "Taylor-Hobson" pantograph was manufactured by the noted optical equipment firm of Taylor, Taylor & Hobson.

3. Rehak. Practical Typecasting (1993) , pp. 102 and 135.

4. There is a puzzle in this photograph in Lewis. The pattern Goudy is using has at least two letters - an 'A' and what might be an 'O' (obscured by the pantograph arm). The working pattern being cut has these same letters, but they are in the wrong order. It should read "AO" not 'OA". I cannot really explain this; my guess is that the two letters on the working pattern were cut at different times.

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