Metal Type: Home | Library | Forum | Free Ads | Store

Linotypes New York Times Circa 1900

Started by Mechanic, April 11, 2010, 05:10:55 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Printle: A Printing Word Game from Metal Type


I ran across what I considered to be an interesting photograph of the New York Times' Linotype section of the composing room. The photo appears to have been taken around 1900, judging by the vintage of the Linotypes. The photo is on the website of the Deutsches Museum. Click on the photo to get it displayed in a separate window for a better view.

What I found interesting is that the machines are set up in batteries of 10 driven by a common pulley shaft. The machines are set back to back with an enclosed platform covering the common drive shaft. The platform makes it possible to clear distributor stops or slide mats on the second elevator without the need of the back step. The metal pots all appeared to be heated by gas. There are no copy lights for the operators, but a large skylight is provide to light the room. In keeping with all good composing room practices a spittoon is provide beside each operators' chair.

In the lower right hand corner is the notation New York Times. In the lower left corner Linotype Maschinen.

George Finn (Mechanic)
Gold Coast


If you had tried to look at the NY Times photo previously and got an error 404. I have now entered a new web address for the photo. It is repeated below.

George Finn (Mechanic)
Gold Coast


As one who is too young to have seen batteries of Linotypes (or letterpress printing presses of any sort), the sight of a mass of cast iron, steel, and brass in a room which one can imagine gets insufferably hot and noisy is nearly incomprehensible. But what a thrill it must have been to live on the edge of technology like that, hmm? There's very little "awe" and "wonder" at seeing rooms filled with Dell PCs and HP LaserJet printers.

Robert Griffith
Burleson, Texas

Quick Reply

Please leave this box empty:
Type the letters shown in the picture
Listen to the letters / Request another image

Type the letters shown in the picture:

Shortcuts: ALT+S post or ALT+P preview

Printers' Tales - Over 30 stories from the pre-digital age. Buy now on Amazon/Apple Books

☛ Don't miss our illustrated newsletters. Click here to see examples and subscribe. ☚