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We're turning up the heat on letterpress! A non-profit restores an Orphan Annie Monotype Sorts Caster to make metal type.
We're turning up the heat on letterpress! A non-profit restores an Orphan Annie Monotype Sorts Caster to make metal type.
129 backers pledged $8,116 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Adventures with Orphan Annie & Hot Metal Type project video thumbnail
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$8,116

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Our Orphan Annie isn’t a cute redhead who sings. She’s a big, old cast-iron Monotype Sorts Caster who clicks more than sings, but isn’t doing either at the moment. We want to change that—and we need your help.

Our Orphan Annie was part of the type foundry of the late C. Christopher Stern. Chris inspired many in the letterpress community with his brilliant printing, use of typography and enthusiasm for the craft of hot metal type casting. We’ve moved the foundry to Portland, Oregon and are now in the process of restoring it to working order. In early 2011, we’ll be opening the foundry as a working museum with public programs designed to preserve the craft of casting type, educate, and inspire creativity for a new generation of printers and thing-makers. The Orphan Annie is one of the foundry machines we want to revive.

Our Kickstarter project is to restore the Orphan Annie, record the process, and get her back in the business of casting metal type. We’ll use the money we raise to fund restoration materials and a public space for this industrial machine. We have volunteers to restore and make Orphan Annie sing again, but we also need to ensure she has a stable home and won’t be kicked out into the street. The typeface we’ll cast with her during the inaugural run will be Stern–the typeface created by the legendary typographer Jim Rimmer in honor of Chris Stern (and documented in the Kickstarter-funded film Making Faces). We'll be casting from Jim's original matrices, which he bequeathed to the Type Foundry in 2010. After that, we hope for many tomorrows filled with creative letterpress printing adventures with Orphan Annie and her metal type.

Thanks for your support! The C.C. Stern Type Foundry Board (Brian, Chris, Connie, Jeff, Joe & Rebecca)

P.S. Check out some pictures of our rewards:

One souvenir letter of Stern, cast from Jim Rimmer's matrices on Orphan Annie's inaugural run.

One personalized Ludlow slug cast in Ultra Modern 18 pt., suitable for desk ornamentation or printing with other type-high material.

One composing stick holder to hold a stick of type or your smartphone. This holder is made of die cut, letterpress printed card stock, and will be shipped flat.

A souvenir set of Stern letters, spelling "Thank you!" Because we do!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Hearing Orphan Annie sing plus gratitude and backer updates.

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    3 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    An Orphan Annie themed, letterpress printed postcard.

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    15 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    An Orphan Annie themed postcard plus a type metal letter of Stern cast during the inaugural run of the Orphan Annie.

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    49 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    An Orphan Annie themed postcard and type metal letter plus a letterpress printed, die cut composing stick holder. (We designed this stand to hold a type stick on a composing stone, but it also works perfectly to hold a smartphone on your desk.)

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    17 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    An Orphan Annie themed postcard, type metal letter and composing stick holder plus a personalized Ludlow slug–a word or short phrase of your choice cast in 18 pt. Ultra Modern (Up to ~25 characters). Make it something cool; we won’t cast hate speech.

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    14 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    An Orphan Annie themed postcard, type metal letter and composing stick holder plus a piece of limited edition letterpress ephemera (edition of 75) and your name on a letterpress printed “plaque” of backers that will be hung in the museum.

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    Limited 16 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    An Orphan Annie themed postcard, type metal letter, composing stick holder and personalized Ludlow slug plus “Thank you!” cast in Stern on the Orphan Annie and your name in the video record we’ll make of the inaugural run of the Orphan Annie.

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    5 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    An Orphan Annie themed postcard, type metal letter, composing stick holder and limited edition ephemera (edition of 75), “Thank you!” cast in Stern on the Orphan Annie, your name on our letterpress "plaque" and in the video tape plus two invitations to attend in person the inaugural run of the Orphan Annie. This will be an exclusive, backers-only event. (Travel to Portland and lodging not included.)

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    Limited 2 backers
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Funding period

- (47 days)