type metal, alloy of lead with antimony, tin, and sometimes copper, so named because of its one time extensive use for making printing type. Expanding upon solidification, the alloy takes a fine and clear impression of the mold in which it hardens. It has a low melting point. Once used extensively for type, it is also employed in making the metal parts of various musical instruments and for ornaments of intricate design and pattern. The percentages of the metals in the alloy vary, according to the use to which it is to be put.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.