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More Video - A German Linotype

Started by Dave Hughes, March 29, 2009, 10:31:13 PM

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Dave Hughes

Recently added to Youtube this video taken at the Mergenthaler Museum.

Here's a translation of what the person who posted it had to say in German:

QuoteMuseum in the town hall in Hachtel, this was the birthplace of Ottmar Mergenthaler, inventor of the Linotype typesetting machine. Here is the jig presented. The presentation is original with liquid lead. The finished line is completed in seconds. The dies are cast automatically to the back into the correct compartment arranged.

Unusual looking machine, parts look like quite an early machine (wobbly leather belts, pi chute, etc.) but other parts look quite late (button panel at the side of the keyboard).
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Dan Williams

 In general I am impressed with the clean, modern profile of these bavarian versions. Although it seems as if the machine had some starting trouble, I have to think that it would be a joy to work with.  I will again observe the German preference for big black knobs...just like the shifters on an old Volkswagen.


I have to agree with Dan the Bavarians do make good solid equipment. The English machines also appear to be of better quality than their North American counterparts. I don't believe that they work any better.

We had both English and German trained Linotype engineers at Canadian Linotype and both were rather finicky when it came to installing machines. When I was installing a Linotype I took it out of the crate, made sure that there was no damage to any of the machined surfaces that had to be bolted together and assembled the machine.

One of the English engineers, Art, working out of London Ontario, injured his back. He had a model 5 Linotype to install and because of his injury I was sent along to give him a hand. As the machine had to go through a small door the machine was completely stripped. I helped Art put the base in place and started unpacking another crate. When I came back Art had a smooth file and an oilcan. He was bevelling the edges of the machined surfaces and applying a film of oil to each surface. When I asked what he was doing, he told me he always did this as someone might injure themselves on a sharp machined edge and the oil would make it easier if the machine had to be taken down again and it helped to keep rust out.

Another time I was installing a machine with Gurd, an Austrian trained by German Linotype. I was working on the pot and Gurd had assembled the vise frame and had moved onto the first elevator. I looked over and Gurd had a hand scraper and was scraping the sliding surface of the first elevator. When I asked why he was doing this he said it gave the surface a look of quality and it could retain a film of oil better than a ground surface.

I must admit that I did tend to follow Art's example, but first elevators continued to be fitted with their factory ground surface.

Unfortunately you don't see many things labelled made in Germany, England or even the USA anymore.

George Finn (Mechanic)
Gold Coast

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