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Started by Mechanic, November 12, 2011, 08:58:33 PM

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Printle: A Printing Word Game from Metal Type


The following item appeared in the "The Capricornian" in Rockhampton, Qld Saturday 14 January 1911.

According to the following incident, gravely related in the "Linotype Bulletin," Beer may serve a more useful purpose than that of merely lubricating the human jaw. Twenty years ago an office in Atlanta installed several linotypes, and Mergenthaler himself supervised their erection. In those days the slug moulds were troublesome, and many and varied were the expedients resorted to, to coax the lines out. One night matters were very much mixed owing to the moulds persistently refusing to do their duty. "Copy" kept piling up, and the prospects of getting the paper out in time were none too rosy. In the midst of the general disorder Mergenthalier called for beer. The manager was sympathetic. After Mergenthaler's harassing night's experience he surely needed something, but his demand for two or three bottles seemed immoderate. However, the beer having been procured, Mergenthaler gravely walked to the; nearest machine, and knocked the neck of a bottle against the top of the elevator, proceeding to pour the liquid over the mould and the jaws. The effect was magical. The slugs thereafter were ejected freely, and the night passed without further trouble. Those machines, we are told, are still "on the job :" but the operators engaged in their working would nowadays experience some difficulty in obtainining beer as a lubricant, as the state of Georgia is a "dry" one.

I knew there was something missing from my tool kit.
George Finn (Mechanic)
Gold Coast

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