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1403 Fonts and Chains

The 1403 had a variety of chains and chain slugs available.

A collection of pictures of chains of various fonts -
Chain A, Chain C, Chain D
" ... photos were directly from the IBM Corporate Archives. Stacy L. Castillo from IBM sent them to me {Jeff Kellem} per a request that Paul Lasewicz, IBM Archivist, ... "
Jeff's web site
Looking for phrases to use all the characters of the English alphabet, such as "THE QUICK BROWN FOX JUMPS OVER THE LAZY DOG" brought up The Daily Pangram and List of pangrams. Robert Garned likes these as they make some sense ;-))
- "PACK MY BOX WITH FIVE DOZEN LIQUOR JUGS"
- "THE WIZARD QUICKLY JINXED THE GNOMES BEFORE THEY VAPORIZED."

Several 1403 printer fonts from Van Snyder

1403 World Trade Fonts 1403 Special Fonts 1403 German Fonts

A Sample of our German 1403's fonts.

A page with HebrewFonts, by Jonathan Rosenne, local copy

A picture of H Font printer chain faces from Stan Paddock
There is a comment from Jeff Kellem that " ... is really an A chain, not an H chain. The H chain had the parens in place of the % and squareLozenge. "
Robert Garner adds,
"And that reminds me: Do you know what the square Lozenge was typically used for (pre 1401 era)?
I understand it comes to us from the 40x accounting machines, but few people seem to recall
what it was typically used for, including Fred Brooks and Fran Underwood."

From Robert Garner - May 15, 2013
... Stan did that high-res 1403 printout shown in our Dec/2008 status page,
... Jay Chow ... used it to create a 1403 True Type font (below),
IBM140310Pitch-Regular, IBM140310Pitch--Light_OpenType, IBM140310Pitch--Heavy_OpenType
so he could recreate a Corvette window sticker (to the right)!
A little later, Don Whittemore used the font on his punched card inventory web site.
The "E", "A", and "N" are a tad light, so I suspect a higher-quality version would be nice.

> On the level of detail that is likely difficult to find,
> I think it might also be interesting to have details on the process of producing the slugs and chains.

I have a standing challenge to the machine shop at IBM Almaden to find a way (or another shop) to reproduce the core "chain", which appears to be a steel "threads" bound together by some plastic (mylar?). We only have one spare, which if it ever breaks... (which is why we don't run 1403 "music" decks.)


Bill Worthington says

"Remember that international character sets -- like Katakana -- were not available for the 1401. They appeared when the 1403 attached to the System/360 and could use EBCDIC to represent them. Remember that there were only 48 characters for the 1416 when the 1403 is attached to a 1401. -- 26 upper case letters, numbers 0-9, and the rest were special characters. International characters like "?" could be substituted for the "$", but it was on a replacement basis.
"See IBM 1403 Printer Component Description (A24-3073)." (8 megabytes)


Updated May 30, 2013
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