All-Purpose Linotype

Details of the APL (Linotype’s version of the Ludlow) taken from “Linotype Machine Principles” published in 1940.

All-Purpose Linotype

THE ALL-PURPOSE LINOTYPE (APL) is a complete, self-contained unit for the casting of type in the form of slugs, in faces ranging from 6 point to 144 point; for casting of furniture, rules, borders, decorative and spacing material from 6 to 72 point body, and 42 picas in length.

Universal APL matrices, standard Linotype matrices and other hand-set matrices may be used.

The compositor sets lines of type by hand in special sticks, and the APL quickly casts and delivers the slug ready for use.

The capacity of the APL, both in point of quality and range of product, is largely governed by the skill of the operator.

The machine is in reality a tool capable of translating into metal the craftsmanship of the most skilled printer, or the simple forms of composing and spacing material with equal ease.

Its uses are many and varied, and its quality is on a parity with Linotype products.

The simplicity of the principle and design of the All-Purpose Linotype permits its operation by persons with a reasonable degree of training, but the best results are obtained when it becomes the tool of an intelligent and skilled printer.

APL matrix assembly
Matrices to be cast on the All-Purpose Linotype are assembled in a composing stick held in the left hand, in a similar manner to the composition of hand type. The lower side of the stick is toward the compositor, the locking screw to his right. The matrices are set face up.

The ease of this method will appeal to the compositor since every letter is visible exactly as it will print, thus affording the opportunity to read lines carefully to check possible errors, and also adjust spacing as needed for balance.

Burnishing type

In order that the APL equipment may be self-contained, a slug saw has been perfected for cutting type slugs, furniture and all material cast on the machine.

The APL Slug Saw-Trimmer is attached to the table of the machine and is completely equipped with the latest approved safety devices, guides and attachments for both straight and angle cutting and trimming.

It is a valuable adjunct to the machine, because of its proximity to the work-table and by reason of the unique “type-foundry” feature, which offers inexhaustible quantities of new, type-high individual characters, cast at minimum investment.

The saw is equipped with a right-hand guage used to quickly align type matter with the saw blade when cutting two or more slugs to fit a given measure, as in newspaper banner lines.

The guage is located at the right side of the saw and can be thrown out of position when not required.

THE FOLLOWING examples further demonstrate the versatility of the All-Purpose Linotype, the advantage of Controlled Alignment, and the unique feature of controlling its position on the slug body.

APL typography example
Controlled Alignment. The upper line is an extreme demonstration showing how the base alignment of APL matrices makes display combinations quite automatic.

The lower line shows how this simple combination of sizes provides a new economy in display.

Hitherto such combined types had to be aligned by slow hand work. Figures below the characters indicate point sizes.

APL typogrophy
Six sizes of Memphis Bold in one word. What a fussy job to align loose type thus! APL cast the line just as you see it.

APL typography
One APL slug in Pabst Extra Bold Italic. Base alignment permits these four or more sizes, if desired, and varieties of matrices to be combined at maximum speed of production. Sizes used here are (left to right) 42, 36, 30 and 24 point caps, with 36 point lower case.

APL typography
Three sizes of Poster Bodoni within the first line arrives at just the desired build-up in the copy – a whole advertisement in the two headlines – good test of both copy and display.

Apl typography
Here 18 and 30 point Metroblack No. 2 are combined with 144 point Gothic No. 40 figures – the figures and the 36 point Metroblack No. 2 dollar mark are on the lower slug, projecting up.

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