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The Hattersley Machine

Started by Mechanic, October 03, 2014, 12:24:31 AM

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I was wonder what type of machine did the Sydney Morning Herald use before the Linotype. The following par is from the Herald Saturday 18 April 1931

I should thank listohan who corrected the scanned story.

QuoteThe universal thirst for news and knowledge which thus begat the mammoth presses of today begat also another wonder of the age in the mechanical typesetting and casting machine. Till 33 years ago the "Herald" was entirely set by hand. Then came the Hattersley machine which operated by a keyboard like that of a typewriter, set moveable type from magazines. This was soon to be superseded by a machine doing away altogether with moveable type. In its place lines of reading matter were actually cast into type from molten metal. And so before the twentieth century dawned, the way was paved for the bulky newspapers and gigantic circulations of to-day.

QuoteTHE ENGLISHMAN Robert Hattersley devised this one, introduced in 1859.  Like most mid-century inventions, a keyboard triggered the gravity drop and things proceeded apace.  An accompanying distributing machine accounted for much of the typesetter's success.  The distributor was an inclined plane, a sliding v-comb selection mechanism, and a plunger device to eject letters into their proper channels.  A combined ingenuity of design with ease of operation and so required more skill than that of the dim apprentice but less hand strength than expensive journeyman-i.e., it was well suited for a workforce of women.  Provincial newspapers, such as those of his hometown Manchester, used Hattersley's rig.  London printing unions kept it out, and it was 1891 before it arrived at London's Daily News.  By that time, the monotype lettercaster was making its technology obsolete.  Nonetheless, the Hattersley was perhaps the longest lived of British typesetters, still in use of World War One.

George Finn (Mechanic)
Gold Coast

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