Back when he was 12 years old, Rich clutched a handful of lead type for the first time. Fascinated, he brought it home, and using his dad's drill press, managed to print using that type. That childhood fascination with all aspects of traditional letterpress printing continues unabated.
Rich saw his first Monotype in a high school printing shop in 1955, and even though it was not running, he was fascinated by it. He bought his first Monotype in 1971 and taught himself how to use it and its keyboard by reading manuals. Today he has seven operational casters in his basement—along with several thousand fonts of composition and display Monotype matrix fonts and routinely makes new metal type using these artifacts.
Rich earned both a bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism and later joined the faculty teaching advertising and print production at West Virginia University. He left WVU to become co-owner and co-publisher of a weekly newspaper from 1971 to 1976. In 1973 the Pioneer Press of West Virginia, Inc., was established. In 1976 he and his partner split operations, with the partner taking the weekly paper and Rich retaining the Pioneer Press.
In 1978 he called the first meeting of what became the American Typecasting Fellowship. Today the group is international in scope. Rich continues to publish the ATF Newsletter, often by utilizing his letterpress and Monotype equipment. He also has conducted several sessions of Monotype University, where over 50 individuals have now learned and are putting to use their newly-gained knowledge of this historic technology.
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