Letterpress type and fonts - Hot metal at M & H Type
M & H Type Foundry

M & H Type

Mackenzie & Harris

The oldest and largest letterpress type foundry in the U.S.
Dating from the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition.

Click below to find out more about our Centennial.M & H Type Foundry

Celebrate a century of continuous operation by the nation’s oldest and largest typefoundry, M&H (Mackenzie & Harris). Designated an “irreplaceable cultural treasure” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Mackenzie & Harris was established with demonstration Monotype machines from the Panama Pacific International Exposition’s Palace of Machinery. These have been preserved as part of the historic foundry, still in operation on a full-time basis, where handset and composition “hot metal” type is manufactured for the Arion Press and other letterpress customers.

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Hot metal is still hot in San Francisco!

The venerable firm of Mackenzie & Harris, established in 1915, is the oldest and largest type foundry for letterpress printers in the United States. Also known as M & H Type, it offers for sale an extensive selection of fonts of type for hand composition and keeps current with printing technology by providing digital typography as well as traditional lead typecasting and Monotype composition.

M & H Type is associated with Arion Press, fine printers and publishers of deluxe limited-edition books, and the Grabhorn Institute, which sponsors tours and educational and apprenticeship opportunities. All share the premises of a handsome1928 industrial building in the Presidio national park of San Francisco.

Thursdays at 3:30 and by appointment. Read more.


Training in both the typefoundry (casting) and pressroom (typography and letterpress printing). Candidates must be interested in doing both. Applicants should send a letter and CV by post.

M & H Type, the oldest and largest surviving type foundry in the United States, offers paid apprenticeships for intensive work and training in typography, typecasting, and Monotype composition that will lead to long-term employment. Commitment is for a minimum four years of employment: two years in apprentice status, followed by at least two years in journeyman status.
            Training is conducted by master type caster Lewis Mitchell, who has been employed by M & H Type for 61 years and is the most knowledgeable person in this country on the Monotype system. Apprentices also receive training in other aspects of printing and book making, including computer-generated typography, photopolymer platemaking, hand composition, and operation of letterpress equipment. Read more.

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Public Tours
Read more about the tours of the working foundry.

Kenny Howard

Kenny Howard interview
Hear an interview of Kenny Howard from M & H Type talking about his work on film titles and typecasting. Includes numerous photos of the typefoundry and the Arion pressroom. View now.

New Type Catalogue!
Now available: Download a PDF facsimile of the M & H Type catalog! Includes specimens of hundreds of typefaces and countless ornaments. Download PDF (3.6 MB).

Lewis Mitchell at the caster

Video Tour
See M & H Type featured in a PBS-TV segment on Arion Press. View now.

Monotype Caster

Email News List
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