Introducing a New Project: Hot Metal Empire
Hot Metal Empire: Script, Media, and Colonialism in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East
At the turn of the twentieth century, a breakthrough in typesetting transformed the modern media landscape. Hot metal typesetting began to displace moveable type, sweeping newspaper plants throughout the United States and Europe – and soon Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. With missionary-like zeal reminiscent of the Propaganda Fide, and a hunger for lucrative new markets, the manufacturing giant Mergenthaler Linotype, its London-based licensee Linotype and Machinery, and major competitors such as Monotype ventured into the world of non-Latin script. Soon, letterform artists and sales representatives in Brooklyn and London found themselves trafficking in Arabic, Armenian, Burmese, Devanagari, Hebrew, Korean, Mongolian, Siamese, and over one hundred others scripts. Hot Metal Empire charts the history of this transformation in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.