American Typecasting Fellowship

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Note: This is just my own personal page about this marvelous group of which I am honored to be a member.

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About the American Typecasting Fellowship

The American Typecasting Fellowship began in 1978 as a group of enthusiasts, amateur and professional, interested in all aspects of the making of metal type. It continues today as the group central to what is becoming a renaissance of typefounding in America in the 21st century.

It is an unusual organization. It has no institutional structures whatsoever. Its bylaws, such as they are, were written primarily by the late Harold Berliner (a private typefounder, printer, and attorney better known as the co-author of the California version of the "Miranda Warning"). The ATF's by-laws, as "scribbled on the back of an envelope" in 1978, are:

The name of the ATF was a deliberate echo of the "other" ATF, American Type Founders Company (which was still in business then).

From the beginning, the role of the Comminications Committee has been filled by Rich Hopkins (Hill and Dale Private Press and Typefoundry), who has published the ATF Newsletter on an irregular but consistent basis.

The ATF has also met ever two years since 1978. The 19th Conference was Aug. 13-17 2014, co-sponsored by Frank Romano (Salem, NH) and the Museum of Printing (North Andover, MA). As I write this just after the 19th conference, the location of the 20th conference in 2016 has yet to be determined.

Although the focus of the ATF is on typecasting, it has always welcomed linecasters (Linotype/Intertype, Ludlow, etc.) (When I attended my first ATF Conference in 2010, I was at that time entirely a linecaster, but I was always made to feel at home.) The Newsletter has over the years published a number of very important articles on this history and technology of linecasting.

As befits a group with so little institutional structure, it is often very difficult to discover information about the ATF.

You join the ATF by contacting Rich Hopkins to get on the Newsletter mailing list:

Richard L. Hopkins, 169 Oak Grove Road, Terra Alta, West Virginia 26764. E-mail:

There are no dues as such, but Rich asks for contributions to cover his costs in printing and mailing the Newsletter (which is always beautifully produced). As of 2014, he is asking that US subscribers keep a balance of at least US $20 with him (double that for non-US). U.S. currency, please.

The ATF is the heart of type-making today. Its members are involved not only in casting type by hand and every kind of machine (Thompson, Monotypes, Barth, and Küco, at least) but also in hand punchcutting, machine punch and matrix engraving, matrix electroforming, matrix justification, and, indeed, every aspect of the making of cast metal type. If these are your interests, you should join.

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ATF Newsletter

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ATF Conferences

A list of the biennial ATF Conferences, with some highlights of each (when known). Also, a list of the sessions of Rich Hopkins' "Monotype University" and Sky Shipley's "Thompson Tech."

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A Partial Bibliography of Keepsakes

It is traditional, though by no means required, for attendees at the ATF Conferences to create "keepsakes" for distribution to the other attendees. At times some of these keepsakes are also papers presented at the conference, but more often they are simply things made for their own sake.

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Other ATF Bibliography

Hopkins, Richard L. "Acceptance Remarks of Richard L. Hopkins for the American Typecasting Fellowship." in "APHA's [The American Printing History Association's] 2004 Institutional Award for Distinguished Achievement" on the receipt of that award by the ATF in 2004.

The text of this speech formerly was online on the American Printing History Association's website. It may be seen by plugging its former web address ( ) into the "Wayback Machine" at The Internet Archive:

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