Oral Histories

Interview of Don Winter

General manager of Los Angeles Type Founders, Inc., a type printing shop.
Los Angeles Type Founders, Inc.
Interviews not in a series, part one
Books and Fine Printing
Biographical Note:
General manager of Los Angeles Type Founders, Inc., a type printing shop.
Skipper, Nancy Sue
Winter, Don
Persons Present:
Winter and Skipper.
Place Conducted:
Winter's office at Los Angeles Type Founders,Inc. in Los Angeles, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Nancy Sue Skipper, Oral History Program; B.A., anthropology, UC Santa Barbara; M.L.S. candidate, UCLA. Skipper prepared for the interview by researching the history of Los Angeles Type Founders, Inc. Skipper's research focused on the history of type founding and changes in the mechanical processes of the industry. She supplemented her research with a survey of current trade literature.
Processing of Interview:
Sylvia Tidwell edited the interview. She checked the verbatim transcript of the interview against the original tape recordings and edited for spelling, punctuation and paragraphing, and the verification of proper nouns. Words and phrases inserted for clarity by the editor have been bracketed.Winter reviewed and approved the edited transcript.Sylvia Tidwell prepared the table of contents. George Hodak, editorial assistant, prepared the index and interview history.
6 hrs.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Family background; Wilfred Neelans; early training in printing at John Muir High School and at John H. Francis Polytechnic High School; begins work with Walter Gebhard, American Type Foundry; type foundries in Los Angeles area during 1930s; Plantin Press; Thompson versus Monotype machines; nature of customers; Gebhard's special expertise; changes after World War II; family's move from Pasadena to Los Angeles; advantages of Polytechnic over Frank Wiggins Trade School; unionizing; joining the navy; contract with California Institute of Technology and Douglas Aircraft; apprenticeship; incorporation; Linotype operations; stock of typefaces; different kinds of mats; differences in typefaces; advantages of Monotype over Linotype; expansion and new acquisitions; Craftsman Club; proof presses versus repro proof presses; effects of offset on business; salesmen and sales techniques; Gebhard's death; Winter takes over the business; putting the operation back in shape and balancing the books; exchange business; Mackenzie and Harris; the best-selling typefaces; Amsterdam Continental, Cast Craft Industries, John Meola; Robert Trogman of Agency Alphabet woos away John Meola; film font fiasco; selling offset plates; limitations on expansion; Jim Whiting; trade shows and workshops; how other foundries coped with development of offset through diversifi-cation; diminishing number of new typefaces; closing of American Type Foundry; wood and plastic type; rubber-stamp machines; brass, zinc, and steel typefaces; supplying gum rubber to Los Angeles schools; buying out California Type Foundry; name change to Los Angeles Type Founders, Inc.; family; wife's background; courtship and marriage; buying Type Foundries of Phoenix; purchases matrices from Florida foundry; reproducing methods; monotype metal versus metal for casting fonts of type; composition versus fonts; foundry metal versus standard Monotype; stereotyping; mat services; reproduction proofs; foreign clients: Mexico and Central America; financial health of Los Angeles Type; past lean times and layoffs; a business with slow turnover; one union strike for thirty-five-hour week; takes courses in accounting and computers; Frederic W. Goudy; photocomposition versus letterpress; phototype versus photolettering; future of type founders.