Competition for Mothra: The Coxhead DSJ VariTyper?

1953 Coxhead DSJ cold typesetting machine. I’ve got the front end of the machine freed up and working, but that delicate, super-complex escapement needs some disassembly and deep cleaning. It’s froze solid as a brick! Fully stocked shuttle drawer, 16 shuttles with all needed point size linefeed gears. The DSJ will run 4 different monospaced escapements plus a half dozen proportionally spaced escapements with the twist of a knob and a tug on a remarkably “4 on the floor” style chrome shift lever, so it’ll take literally *hundreds* of different type shuttles. Currently in the earholes:

Updated: September 7, 2023 — 7:03 pm


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  1. That’s an impressive machine, by size and capability! Love the sekection of typefaces. Best of luck in restoring its full functionality.

  2. Have fun with it! I never dedicated enough time to mine to learn its operation, and I have now donated it to the Cincinnati Type & Print Museum.

    Fred Woodworth in Tucson has been using a DSJ to produce his magazines for over 50 years. I believe he has created a device that slices a Selectric ribbon to the correct narrow width for a Varityper.

    1. Ahh yes – I remember your article about Fred, I’ll have to google that up again (:


  3. Big fun! Looking forward to your autumn adventure!

  4. Awesome mechanics – good luck on the project, for sure an enjoyable journey of discovery (big and complex enough for several surprises :)

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