David Klinger submitted this item inspired by Dick Johnson's reminiscences in the last issue. Thanks!
I enjoyed reading DICK JOHNSON REMINISCES: TYPE DRAWERS AND PRINTING . In the 1950's I too was an active printer using my High School Print Shop. One memory I have of those days, related to numismatics, is using a wedge or expanding mechanical device to lock the type into the steel frame (chase). This wedge device is called a quoin.
The quoin was operated using a quoin key
These quoins (pronounced 'coins') came in various forms. The simplest ones are nothing more than 2 wooden wedges that are slid across each other's face to exert pressure inside the type frame. A step more complex, than that are cast metal wedges with toothed faces. This is the type I used. A special key (quoin key) is turned in the teeth to slide the wedges. This provides a great deal more locking pressure.
But, quoin and coin are not only pronounced the same - they are the same word. The word coin comes originally from the Latin word cuneus, meaning "wedge". The term came to apply to the wedge-shaped die that made these small pieces of money. Later, the word coin was applied to the stamped image on the money, but eventually referred to the money itself. Other forms of this word across time and languages are: coyn, coygne, cuigne, coigne, quoin, and others.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
DICK JOHNSON REMINISCES: TYPE DRAWERS AND PRINTING
Wayne Homren, Editor
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