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Linotype: The Book

Started by Dave Hughes, July 27, 2023, 08:32:32 AM

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Dave Hughes

As some of you may know, Doug Wilson, who brought us "Linotype: The Film" some 10 years or more ago, is now working on a book.

You can sign up for email updates, and contribute towards the cost of Doug's research here: The Linotype Book Project

Doug is currently researching the book and publishing some of his findings on Instagram.

This post shows some of the stuff he found at the Museum of Printing, Haverhill, Massachusetts.

I liked the third photo which shows one of Ottmar Mergenthaler's early business cards. Unfortunately, a raised space has printed on the fourth line. A problem that would be eradicated with the invention of the Linotype!

Here are some of the topics that Doug is aiming to cover in the book:

  • Where is the original Blower Linotype machine? It hasn't been seen publicly in three decades.
  • What were the experiences of women & minority populations using the Linotype?
  • Can we find the original 1936 NBC radio broadcast celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Linotype?
  • Why did the Linotype company fail to transition to photo and computer technology?
  • How did a small group of people swindle over $775,000 from the company in 1945?
  • What was the APL (All-Purpose Linotype) and why did it fail so spectacularly?
  • How did the International Typographic Union become so powerful?
  • Why did the New York Times wait 20 years longer than almost anyone else to stop using the Linotype?
  • Why was Ottmar Mergenthaler so angry and depressed at the end of his life?
  • What was the relation between the U.S., U.K., German, and Italian Linotype companies?

For those who can't wait for the book to be published, the question "What was the APL?" has been answered on Metal Type here: All-Purpose Linotype
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