Efforts to speed up the memorial making process continue. Standardized lettering styles specific to the monument industry begin to be more thoroughly documented and distributed through articles in trade publications, the creation of lettering plates, and the printing of lettering books. These advances begin giving less specialized workers the ability to complete the lettering on a memorial.
F.A. Church begins his Practical Lettering for Memorials column in the American Stone Trade magazine, with the intent of educating the industry on a mechanical process to allow less skilled draftsmen to lay out lettering without freehand drawing. Church will go on to have a book printed under the same name.
The Monumental News Magazine publishes the Manual of Monumental Lettering, the first book of its kind.
George DiBona and Timothy Jellow patent metal letters for tracing an inscription and the Spacerite Company is born, dramatically reducing the time it takes to lay out an inscription on memorials. The system removes the need for a skilled draftsmen to draw lettering by hand.
Though the Spacerite system is gaining ground in the monument industry, many memorialists continue to draw their own lettering by hand, and others begin to create lettering plates and blueprints of their own alphabets to be used by the industry for laying out letters and inscriptions.
Draftsmen Matthew Lindsly produces a large series of design and lettering blueprint templates and sells them to the monument industry.
Pencil Points Magazine publishes a lettering book by architect Egon Weiss which is based on his articles published in 1928. A crossover publication covering both print and memorial lettering, the book contained a new system for spacing inscriptions, and would go on to be hugely influential in the industry.
The Floyd A. Holes Company (later “Holes & McClellan”) begins producing lettering plates for the industry based on the work of Egon Weiss and his letter spacing system.
By 1940 sandblasting has completely overtaken hand carving as the method used for engraving memorials, the Spacerite letter system has been widely adopted by the industry, and the first stencil die-cutting letters are invented and produced.
The Spacerite system still reigns supreme, there is some pushback against the predictability of the lettering. Many manufacturers begin creating their own alphabets for reproduction, and modifying the Spacerite letters while cutting them in the sandblast stencil, creating sans-serif and other variations of the alphabets. Though it has become increasingly rare to see hand drawn lettering on headstones up until this point, there is a slight resurgence during this period.
The stencil press is invented and patented simultaneously by two companies, and plastic stencil cutting alphabets and designs are created. The time taken to lay out and cut a design and inscription in stencil is drastically reduced. Two Companies immediately kick off the stencil press revolution: SKS Limited and Gaspari.
Stencil cutting dies continue to saturate the industry as more and more monument manufacturers begin using the stencil press for cutting memorial designs in stencil. New stencil press design companies are created, giving birth to many versions of the classic memorial alphabets, as well as never before seen lettering styles.
The SKS Ltd Company purchases the PALL line of stencil cutting dies.
The 3M Company purchases SKS Limited and produces the stencil cutting dies under the new name: ScotchKut Systems.
The monument industry sees its first use of CAD (computer aided design) systems and mechanical cutting plotters.
In 1986, Monumental Computer Applications, Inc. begins marketing its monument industry specific computer software, Monu-Cad. The system includes CAD software and a stencil cutting system to replace the need for hours of manual labor.
In 1987 Cochran’s Monuments begins marketing a CAD system for creating designs and cutting sandblast stencil under the name Cochran’s Quick-Cut Systems.
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