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Linecasters on Public Display

Started by intertypeman, February 26, 2007, 10:52:51 AM

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This is a continuation of a thread that started here:,

Re access to the linecasters and printing machines at Manchester Science & Industry Museum, John Messner has moved on and Adam Daber is now the Curator responsible for industrial machinery, but he is currently rushed off his feet, so access to the inside of Store 2 to fully view the collection is difficult, and a prior appointment is imperative. Email him at or use for more general enquiries, or phone 0161-6060118.

Viewing the collection to a limited extent is possible whenever the museum is open however, as the store is in the open below the viaduct which carries the demo railway track and has large plate glass windows. Remember to take a powerful torch with you, as the lighting inside the store is partly out of action and natural lighting is restricted. With a good torch you can clearly see the Typograph - of German manufacture - and the square-base early Linotype, also the side-magazine "modern" Linotype - not sure which model, as I'm an Intertype man myself - which are on display at the front of the Store, plus a limited view of the other printing and linecasting machines.

What is freely accessible every day the Science Museum is open is the gallery inside the main entrance, with a composing room set out on one side of the walkway, and a couple of Adana 8x5 benchtop platens, a rather nice Columbian iron hand press, a typical jobbing shop hand guillotine, and a couple of treadle platens on the other side of the walkway.

Parking locally is difficult, so the easiest way to access the Museum in Liverpool Road is to travel by train to Manchester Piccadilly, change there onto the local train to Manchester Oxford Road station, then catch free shuttle bus 2 - this runs every 10 minutes - from the station forecourt. This free shuttle bus also calls at or near Manchester Victoria station.

Another small but interesting printing display that you can access freely is at the Portland Basin Museum at nearby Ashton under Lyne, where the wooden narrow boats of the Wooden Narrow Boat Society are based and can be viewed, and where they have a mock-up small printing office. This has an Albion press and a Harrild and Sons treadle platen on display. Does this topic merit a thread of its own?


Having just posted my note about access to the linecaster and printing machine collection at Manchester, it occurs to me that if Dan Williams can pull all the threads together so that it works for him, if he can get a flight to Manchester Airport either direct or via some convenient connection, (hourly?) trains from Manchester Airport to Blackpool call at Manchester Oxford Road station - the next stop after Manchester Piccadilly - and the free shuttle bus from the Oxford Road station forecourt that runs every 10 minutes will then take him direct to the Science & Industry Museum. There is even a coffee shop on the other side of the road where he can sit and wait for the bus, with a clear view of it as it arrives.


He and I talked about the Whittaker Collection (?) on Saturday. Think we need to form a travel agency for linecasting tours 'round the globe! Maybe we could pay in lead, maybe pied mats, eh? ;)

Robert Griffith
Burleson, Texas


I've done a little bit of traveling around Texas the past two years, and in that time I have found linotypes in some of the most unexpected places. What follows are pictures from some of the museums I have seen linotypes in, as well as some information about that museum and the date I saw it.

Museum of Printing History, Houston, Texas - Visited October 2005, May 2006, and February2007.
The Model 31 on display in the Hearst Gallery in Houston's Museum of Printing History has churned out a few slugs of lead for me with Texas' resident Linotype Genius Dan Williams at the keyboard. In addition, there is a Model 5 High-Base and Model 14 42 em held back in storage for future display.

East Texas Oil Museum, Kilgore, Texas - Visited November 2005.
This linotype, which I couldn't get close to, looks complete but is apparently non-functional.

Jefferson Museum, Jefferson, Texas - Visited November 2005.
Left outdoors since the late '70s, this Model 9 Linotype is missing its pot and motor, not to mention a few other things. The Model 9 being a rarity, even in its present state it might be worth the work to save it.

Ranger Oil Museum, Ranger, Texas - Visited July 2006.
The single docent at the museum couldn't say much about this Model 8, but his friendliness and enthusiasm was welcome.

Buffalo Gap Historic Village, Buffalo Gap, Texas - Visited July 2006
The Model 15 single-magazine machine stuck in the corner behind a Miller High-Speed and a Heidelberg looks in working condition, but its last use was sometime in the early-to-mid '90s.

Itasca Heritage Education Center, Itasca, Texas - Visited March 2007
I visited Itasca and found this Intertype from the Itasca Item soon to be on display at a new museum in the small town of 1,500. The machine hasn't been in use since the late '70s or early '80s, but it looks comeplete with a few custom modifications. Not far from it is a Babcock Cylinder press which I couldn't uncover to look at on this visit.

Rusk County Depot Museum, Henderson, Texas - Visited April 2007
Out in East Texas in Henderson at the Depot Museum is the Park Press Shop with a Model 31, manual quadder linotype. The museum runs the machine in April and November during special events. They also have a Kluge, C&P, and a few odds and ends.

I also know of several other linotypes in private hands in Houston, Bedford, and elsewhere, as well as a few museums that I haven't been to in Coolidge and far West Texas.

Robert Griffith
Robert Griffith
Burleson, Texas

Dave Hughes

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Dan Williams

Great photos, Robert.
The model 14 42em that is shown was one of our machines from the family shop. I tried to clean it up and sell it on ebay a couple of years ago, but that failing, decided to donate it to the Museum of Printing History (Houston, TX). I rigged and hauled it twenty miles on a rental trailer, single handed, but got some people from a nearby bar to help me unload it. Hahaha.
Since then, the Museum warehouse has been emptied and selected items, including that 42 em and the Model 5 have been relocated to other storage facilities. NO, I did not help move it the second time.
P.S. Genius? I am still an ex Tea Boy.
ALSO: regarding the model 9, that is an absolute travesty. The people in Jefferson Couny ought to be soundly chided for the lack of care given to this historic item. At least they didnt dump it, but then how much better is the rust? Lots of model 14s, 8s, 5s, etc, but practically no model 9s out there.


Well Dan old boy, should you and I go out there to Jefferson and liberate the Model 9 from its dreary prison and restore it? ;) I've got a spare gas pot and a few odds and ends. We could make a decade, er, project out of it!


Robert Griffith
Burleson, Texas
Robert Griffith
Burleson, Texas

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