On Mon, 6 Aug 2001 at 21:12:49 -0500, Dave Nalle <[log in to unmask]>
> ...I'm not familiar with anything K&E produced
> besides the sample book which I found years ago in a a bookstore in
> Maine. What is the Leroy equipment?
K&E were perhaps most widely known for their sliderules. To own a K&E
sliderule was to own the best. Somewhere recently I've read that
their annual production of sliderules was in the hundreds of
thousands of units at the peak. The advent of the handheld calculator
in 1970 or 1971 killed the sliderule market faster than you can
possibly imagine, just as it killed the market for the complex
mechanical desk calculators made by Friden, Monroe, et al.
K&E's ruling engines were donated to the Smithsonian after they
discontinued production of sliderules.
Leroy equipment used an incised template to guide a pen at the end of
a small pantographic arm. This permitted engineers inking drawings to
generate very precise, repeatable lettering instead of depending on
individual skills. By adjusting the arm, one could get lettering in
different heights, iirc.
By changing to a larger or smaller nib (much like a Rapidograph pen),
one could change the weight of the lettering.
But it wasn't *that* easy! I actually tried out Leroy equipment,
long, long ago in an era now lost to the ken of man, and smears,
blotches, bleeds, uneven spacing, and a host of other glitches were
the order of the day. It was clearly equipment that required
considerable experience to use smoothly. One suspects that in each
shop using it, there were one or two experts,
I recall the Leroy system as only generating a single "typeface" but
I'm pretty sure that memory is wrong.
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada