Upper and Lower Case in Ditchling

On my way to Italy via Gatwick I did a detour to Ditchling in Sussex to visit family. Ditchling’s museum, a beautifully converted barn, displays the work of an extraordinary group of craftsmen and women who lived there in the early 20th century. Perhaps the most famous (and notorious, but that’s another story) was Eric Gill, but there were other equally talented artists, sculptors, weavers and printers. It was this last display, about the Ditchling Press, which gave me one of those pleasing “of course” moments when you learn something new and it all fits into place.

Individual letters were kept in trays in a tall storage cabinet called a case. Capitals were kept in the top 26 drawers, and the rest beneath, hence the terms upper and lower case.

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