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Started by Dan Williams, July 20, 2006, 04:19:39 AM

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Printle: A Printing Word Game from Metal Type

Dan Williams

Having said that an old Ludlow is worth saving, I figure that I had better offer some basis.
So, what is a Ludlow?
A ludlow is a type-line-casting machine that does not rely on circulating letter matrices.
Its weakness is that it is not a keyboard machine; you have to pick mats out of a cabinet and that is slow.
Its strength is that it is simpler; simpler in construction, maintenance and operation than a Linotype or an Intertype. It casts really BIG letters...really BIG :o
In a lino, you can only come close to that font size using a massive model 33, 35 or wide auxiliary model, and those machines weigh tons. Or using huge Intertype models G or H, I think.
Many letterpress and letterpress-type agencies have preferred to use Ludlow because its strengths are greater than its weakness. If you only need twenty slugs for an overprint, folder or book spine, why mess with a Linotype? It doesnt take that long to pick out, cast and redistribute mats for such a small job.
I am one who believes that Ludlows never really stopped being used. Simply too versatile, and if were not for the huge numbers of the Ludlows dumped by newspapers and the general print industries, I firmly believe Ludlow Typograph probably would still be in business. Not true for Linotypes.
That is why I think they have value, subject to condition and other factors.

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