Skip to the good stuff!


Richard L. Hopkins

Rich is a former professor at West Virginia University, Morgantown and the author of “Origin of the American Point System for Printers’ Type Measurement”, the standard reference on that subject.  It is clearly written, well-illustrated, and easily understood by the general reader. More recently, he wrote “Tolbert Lanston and the Monotype—The Origin of Digital Typesetting”, published by the University of Tampa Press.  This very thorough history of the invention and development of this essential American typesetting system fills a gaping void in the history of machine composition, providing an in-depth look both into the rich history of the Philadelphia company that created the Monotype system, and even at some of the people who have made use of Monotype equipment in the 21st century.  I cannot overstate the value and significance of this book.  And don’t miss the appendices which contain wonderful extra detail.

As if two essential books are not enough, Richard L. Hopkins was the driving force behind the establishment of the American Typecasting Fellowship in 1978, as well as helping to ensure its continued existence through his regular publication of the ATF Newsletter—usually printed letterpress in whole, or in part.  Richard (Rich to his friends, who are legion) edits this deluxe document, often writing the bulk of its contents.  The ATF meets biannually and its members strive to keep alive the traditions of metal type and its manufacture. This organization is unique in the world, and it is the direct offspring of the ideas and inspiration of Richard L. Hopkins.

In concert with the ATF Rich opened up his home and foundry yearly to conduct weeklong sessions of hands-on instruction in the operation of typecasting machinery.  His Monotype University provided essential training in the use of complex equipment and has been the springboard for a wide range of type-making wannabes. A new generation has found inspiration through this instruction.

In his own words, “My goal through writing, typecasting, and printing is the preservation of the equipment and the technology associated with letterpress printing and the making of printers’ metal type.”  He has accomplished all of this and more.   Richard L. Hopkins life’s work embodies everything that the American Printing History Association strives for, thus this nomination for this prestigious individual Laureate Award.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

APHA encourages comments to be short and to the point; as a general rule, they should not run longer than the original post. Comments should show a courteous regard for the presence of other voices in the discussion. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments that do not adhere to this standard.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.