The Whittaker “Mickey Mouse”

Whittaker Micky Mouse

The “Mickey Mouse” was a linecaster that was used to produce display or outsize type up to 60 point. It was invented by M.H. Whittaker.

Whittaker Micky Mouse

The “Mickey Mouse” was built using old, stripped-down star-based Model 1 Linotypes. They included several inventions patented by Whittaker. The matrices were kept in cabinets separate to the machine.

The operator selected the right matrices, and put them in a stick-shaped holder to build up a line of type.

The line was then cast. Whittaker produced two models: one that used Intertype and Linotype matrices, and one that used Ludlow matrices.

The machine was marketed in Britain to small newspapers that could not afford the more costly Ludlow machine.

Originally called the Display Caster, the machine was dubbed “Mickey Mouse” by the staff of the Yorkshire Observer. There is no record of why, but it may be because of its feet and silhouette.

5 thoughts on “The Whittaker “Mickey Mouse””

  1. I used one in the 1960s on the Ardrossan & Saltcoats before we moved on to Compugraphic typesetters – sold in the UK by Whittaker’s of Leeds.

  2. Worked on a Mickey Mouse, at Cheshire Observer. In the late 60’s early 70’s. Simple operation, by memory 18pt-48pt. Anything bigger was produced on a Nebitype.

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