The Whittaker Collection

THE WHITTAKER COLLECTION of linecasters was put together by Mr H Peter Whittaker whose company sold and repaired linecasters.

The collection is currently in storage room 2 at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.

To see the various machines, use the Related Pages menu.

Peter Whittaker put together a personal museum of linecasters that he believed showed their historical and technical development.

The collection has one of the earliest British-made linecasters, which was built in 1892. The other linecasters in the collection are from the twentieth-century.

They date from 1911 until the 1970s, when hot-metal linecasting was overtaken by newer technology. The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester was given the Whittaker Linecaster Collection in 1990.

Peter Whittaker’s grandfather, Matthew Whittaker (1869-1955) was born in Manchester, and trained as an engineer.

While working for Linotype and Machinery Ltd he was taught by Ottmar Mergenthaler, inventor of the Linotype.

In 1919, he formed his own company in Leeds. M.H. Whittaker & Son Ltd specialised in repairing linecasters, especially Linotypes. They also acted as sales agents for Intertype linecasters.

Matthew Whittaker was always interested in linecaster developments. He held several patents that improved linecaster technology. These included a composing-stick attachment, a standardised space-band, and a device for casting and centering headline print.

Some of his inventions were adopted by Linotype and used on their machines. In 1925, he stripped-down and altered star-based Model 1 Linotypes to produce a different type of linecaster. It was called the “Mickey Mouse”, and used several of his inventions.

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