Archive through March 20, 2003

John Hudson's picture

A few days ago, in the midst of another thread, Hrant posed a 'pop quiz' question (what was Beatrice Warde's mother's maiden name?). This gave me an idea for a new thread, one that might perhaps run for a while. This is a pop quiz thread. Here are the rules:

1. The winner of a quiz poses the next question.

2. The winner of a quiz is the first person to answer the current question correctly.

3. The person who poses the question should declare the winner according to these rules within 1 hour (exceptions will be made in the event that the person who posed the question is asleep).

4. After the winner has been declared, there will be a 1 hour grace period during which time the answer may be challenged by anyone who believes that both the person who posed the question and the person who answered it are wrong; the winner may not pose a new question during this hour, or until any resulting challenge has been resolved.

5. If the challenger can offer convincing evidence that he or she is correct, the challenger is declared the winner and may pose the next question; the person who posed the question and declared the incorrect answer correct is barred from winning any of the next three questions regardless of whether he or she correctly answers them.

6. If the challenger is proven to be incorrect, the original declaration stands and the winner poses the next question; in this event the disgraced challenger is barred from winning any of the next three questions regardless of whether he or she correctly answers them.

7. Other rules may be invented by the quizmaster (that's me) as the need arises.

8. In the event of inconclusive disputes (e.g. if a challenger proves the original winner to be incorrect but is also found to be incorrect), the quizmaster (that's me again) reserves the right to declare the quiz null and to pose a new question or invite a previous winner to pose a new question.

9. In order to reduce the likelihood that the same group of individuals will keep winning, due to their shared obsessions with particular typographic esoterica, no new question may be of a similar theme to the immediately previous question (e.g. if one question is about an obscure operating detail of Monotype keyboarding, the next question must be of a non-technical nature).

10. People who don't like the quizmaster's rules (that's my rules) should start their own pop quiz threads; this is called the Democracy of Bandwidth.

11. If Gerald Lange objects that this is subverting a serious typographic discussion forum for 'entertainment', he should consider that the quality of questions is in the hands of the people who pose and answer them, and that if all goes well we might learn some interesting facts (in any case, it's got to be better than the very silly 'six degrees' threads) :-)

As this was my idea, and because I successfully answered Hrant's pop quiz re. Mrs Lamberton (okay, so I checked my answer with Shelley Gruendler before I posted it), I will pose the first question. This one is about an obscure operating detail of Monotype keyboarding:


HOW FAR DID THE PAPER RIBBON ADVANCE EACH TIME A KEY WAS PRESSED AND DEPRESSED ON THE BANCROFT DESIGN (POST-1899) MONOTYPE KEYBOARD?

beejay's picture

GI*, John. extremely wild guess. 1/2 pica...

bj

* good idea

John Hudson's picture

Bzzzt. Wrong answer, sorry BJ.

sean's picture

One em.

-smc

hrant's picture

> Mrs Lamberton

I never asked about Beatrice's grandmother. :-)

Shot in the dark:
1/10th of an inch.

hhp


hhp

John Hudson's picture

Of course Miss Lamberton.

So far all answers are incorrect; this is an even better question than I thought. I will say that it is an absolute amount, not relative to type size, so Sean's guess is very wide of the mark.

John Hudson's picture

New rule:

12. In order to maintain the illusion that we're all incredibly knowledgeable/obsessive, anyone who admits to guessing the correct answer, e.g by using phrases such as 'extremely wild gues' or 'shot in the dark', will be barred from winning the quiz in which this admission takes place.

In other words, feel free to guess, but don't let on that you're guessing.

Miss Tiffany's picture

one full rotation --- With each succeeding key stroke, the ribbon advances forward the width of each character.

beejay's picture

My other guess, er, I mean...my research indicates
1/20th of an inch.

Rule 12a. If the question is so obscure, the answer tucked away
in some out-of-print book, then the poser of the question ought
to encourage guesses, otherwise the thread would end, eh?
Also, the poser of future questions might gain a measure of smug
satisfaction that the question posed is sooo good it leaves the
local type experts dumbfounded.

or something like that.

bj

:-)

hrant's picture

Tiffany, my suspicion is that the ribbon actually carried encoded data of the text stream, not images of the type. This ribbon was fed into another machine that set a given font using the data. Right? So there was some fixed metric (or Imperial - more fitting these days...) amount the ribbon moved for each character, and I suspect that happened upon the release of the key (the pressing only serving to punch the ribbon, not move it).

BJ, John isn't discouraging guessing, he's disallowing its admission.
Of course, I do know the answer, I'm just playing along... ;->

On the other hand, we do need a rule that says what happens if nobody gets it (and after how much time).

hhp

rcapeto's picture

my suspicion is that the ribbon actually carried
encoded data of the text stream, not images of the type


Yes, this encoding was two punches for character,
controlling respectively the vertical and the
horizontal positioning of the matrix holder.

My references were for about 3 mm advance for
character, which would be 1/8 inch - I'm not
sure if this refers to the specific machine design
JH is talking about.

John Hudson's picture

Hrant is correct about the mechanism: the ribbon recorded data in a pattern of punched holes at regular intervals. I'm pretty sure he's also correct that the ribbon advanced when the key was depressed, but I'm not 100% sure which is why I worded the question to avoid that issue.

BJ, I do encourage guessing, but not the admission of guessing. Wouldn't you rather guess the answer and have everyone think 'Wow! Who knew BJ was so knowledgeable about Monotype keyboard operation?'

The question remains live: just what was that regular interval between hole patterns on the ribbon?

matha_standun's picture

I was going to say either .0075" or .008" or both.
Or neither, most probably.

M.

matha_standun's picture

or .0005"

M.

John Hudson's picture

I spoke too soon...

WE HAVE A WINNER:

Rodolfo has the correct answer: 1/8 inch

Well done.

I expect there are numerous sources for this information. I found it last night in Bapurao S. Naik's Typography of Devanagari (Bombay, 1965). I believe the 1/8 inch advance was standard to all Monotype machines, but phrased the question the way I did because I'm not sure that it was so on the very earliest machines. The machines that Bancroft designed in 1899 became the model for all subsequent machines.

Unless there is a challenge to this answer within the next hour, Rodolfo may pose the next question on any subject except technical operation of hot metal composing machines.

hrant's picture

Hey, considering I got to within 20% of the answer without a reference, I think I deserve to win!! ;-)

--

> archival type films

Cool.
Cross-platform, I hope?

hhp

rcapeto's picture

Ha! Cool.

Are you challenging me, Hrant? Don't be a sore
loser, respect the hanging chads of my monotype
ribbon. You have 48 hours to comply, or...

Hmm, asking a good question is more difficult
than answering one. Well, I'll ask something
about the modern movement, that's what interests
me more. I'm not sure if this is too easy, so
I'm subdividing the question in parts. If this is
against the rules, the quizmaster may rephrase
it as he sees fit.

At the height of the Swiss typographic movement
there was a magazine that embodied its spirit,
its editors being so rigorous that someone once
dubbed them the 'death squad'. What was this
magazine - or rather, since it was a trilingual
magazine, what was its name in each of the
languages -, who were its editors, and for how
long did it run? (Well, this last item is not really
fundamental).

Bonus question: in which typeface was the
masthead of the magazine set?

hrant's picture

Kalb ibn'l kalb, I'll send my snakes after you, infidel!!! ;-)

--

Name(s):
Typografische Monatsblaetter, Schweizer Grafische Mitteilungen
Revue swisse de l'imprimerie
Swiss Typographic Monthly Magazine

Editors: which part(s), all of them?!

Duration: Again, which part? The swiss half (in French and English) started much earlier than the German.

Masthead: Univers.

Heil Das Grid, ja!

hhp

rcapeto's picture

Ha... that would be too easy, Hrant.
Wrong.

Remember that the magazine you're referring
to, TM, being a trade magazine, embraced all
aspects of the typographic/editorial trade,
not only what we now call the "Swiss movement".
When this was in its heyday, it would be, of
course, the gist of TM, but TM wasn't, say,
the movement's "standard-bearer".

I should add that the magazine I'm talking about
is no longer in circulation.

matha_standun's picture

New Graphic Design?

sean's picture

Ehrenburg and Lissitzky organized the trilingual (Russian, German, French) magazine Vetsch.

Vetsch'. Gegenstand. Object

I don't know the rest.

-smc

matha_standun's picture

New Graphic Design
die neue Graphik
Muller-Brockmann, neuberg, lohse, vivarelli

matha_standun's picture

18 issues starting in 1965

matha_standun's picture

Le Nouvel art graphique
New Graphic Design
die neue Graphik

Muller-Brockmann, neuberg, lohse, vivarelli

18 issues starting in 1965

rcapeto's picture

Vetsch would be in a different time frame.

But chara Matha got it! Congrats Matha!
One major glitch: it was not "Le nouvel art graphique"
(you're cheating!) but "Graphisme actuel":
Neue Grafik, New Graphic Design, Graphisme actuel.

Two minor glitches: it started in September 1958
(it may have ended in '65, I'm not sure, but there
were 18 issues indeed.) and it was Neuburg, not
Neuberg: Josef Müller-Brockmann, Hans Neuburg,
Carlo Vivarelli and Richard Paul Lohse, the death
squad.

Now, you still owe me the masthead's typeface
(very easy one, it was mentioned in another
thread in this forum very recently).

matha_standun's picture

Helvetica?

rcapeto's picture

No! The guys there would send you to the pared

matha_standun's picture

I've already started thinking. It was more fun trying to find the answers to your questions.
You'll all have to be a little patient.

Matha

beejay's picture

>> BJ, I do encourage guessing, but not the admission of guessing.

gotcha.

Jared Benson's picture

[Tangent] FYI: Uppercase members will be happy to find some archival type films on their membership CD which may give insight into the way these machines (used to) operate.

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