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Linotype Elektron - video

Started by Dave Hughes, July 27, 2017, 09:21:26 PM

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Dave Hughes

Uploaded to Vimeo by the people who brought us Linotype: The Film, a great video of an immaculate Elektron - arguably the pinnacle of linecasting technology.

This film showcases the completely re-designed Elektron Linotype. Fed by perforated tape, the Elektron can cast up to 15 lines per minute without an operator at the machine.

With many electronic and hydraulic parts, the Elektron was Linotype's last hot-metal type casting machine. Although many improvements were made, the limits of mechanical type setting had been reached and the Elektron was too little too late for the market that had moved on to photo and computer composition.

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You will notice that the demonstration is with the Fairchild operating unit. Mergenthaler produced the Linomatic Operating Unit (LOU) but the early versions of the LOU was so inundated with problems, that salesmen sold the Fairchild unit in preference. The Fairchild unit was originally made by Teletype, but the US government said Teletype had a monopoly on the wire service market and Teletype was ordered to divest itself of the Teletype Setters (TTS).
George Finn (Mechanic)
Gold Coast

John Nixon

Worked at the Dominion which then merged with the Evening Post in Wellington NZ.

As a pieceworker we were using the Electrons manually but the management would not allow us to use them at piece rates as were were manually setting at 12-13 lines a minute and they said we were making too much money.

Once the tape  computer was up and running they then used them as designed. One problem, for every two keyboard operators they needed a machine minder, so three people to run 2 machines. The only advantage was they did not need to train people in the art of the Linotype keyboard.

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