linotype

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linotype

(līn`ətīp'), typetype,
for printing, was invented in China (c.1040), using woodblocks. Related devices, such as seals and stamps for making impressions in clay, had been used in ancient times in Babylon and elsewhere.
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 set by the Linotype machine. See printingprinting,
means of producing reproductions of written material or images in multiple copies. There are four traditional types of printing: relief printing (with which this article is mainly concerned), intaglio, lithography, and screen process printing.
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Linotype

 

a composing machine for setting type for newspapers, books, and magazines and casting it in solid metal lines (slugs) with a raised printing surface. The Linotype was invented by O. Mergenthaler in the USA in 1884. The first Linotypes in the USSR were built in 1932 at the Leningrad Printing Machine Plant. Soviet Linotypes are operating in 60 countries (1972).

The Linotype consists of three main units: the assembler, the caster, and the distribution device. When a key on the keyboard is depressed, metal matrices with recessed images of individual characters drop from the magazines. Expandable space bands are set between the words. A line of text is formed from the matrices and bands and then sent to the caster. All subsequent operations in the machine are done automatically. The hot type metal fills all the recessed images of the characters on the matrices and, upon cooling, forms a solid line with a raised printing surface. The cooled line is ejected from the mold, given fine trimming for height of type and point, and placed on a receiving table. After the line of characters is cast, the matrices are transferred to the distribution device and the spacebands go to the space box. The distribution device returns the matrices to the magazine channels from which they were drawn during composition. Because of the circulation of matrices and spacebands, when the Linotype operator finishes composing one line, he may go on to the next. Linotypes differ in the number of magazines and dismantling (distribution) mechanisms. In modern Linotypes the number of magazines ranges from one to eight, the number of channels in each can be up to 91, and there can be one to four distribution devices.

In addition to semiautomatic Linotypes, automatic Linotypes with programmed control are becoming common. Each character is coded by a certain combination of holes in a tape. The program is prepared on special devices. Since the productivity of a programmer is higher than that of a Linotype operator and the speed of operation of the automatic machine is greater than that of the semiautomatic machine, the labor productivity achieved with automatic typesetting is significantly higher. The program

Table 1. Main technical parameters of Linotype machines of the standardized Rossiia series
 Semiautomatic machinesAutomatic machines
 N-140N-240N-144N-244NA-140NA-240
Point size of type.....4–164–164–364–364–164–16
Measure (in picas) . . . .4–284–284–284–284–284–28
Number of magazines . .448844
Number of distribution devices..........121212
Maximum number of characters in a matrix.9018012424890180

may be transmitted over communications channels to provide remote control of the work of one or more automatic devices.

The standardized Rossiia series of Linotypes is produced in the USSR (see Table 1). The series includes two semiautomatic models for simple composition (N-140) and complex composition (N-240), two automatic machines (the NA-140 and NA-240), and two general-purpose machines for complex and large-point composition (the N-144 and N-244).

The output of the semiautomatic Linotypes depends on the skill of the operator and is usually four to five lines per minute. The maximum output of the NA-140 and NA-240 automatic machines is 16 lines per minute. The best automatic Linotypes produced abroad are the American Electron and Monarch and the West German Europa; their output is 14–15 lines per minute.

G. S. ERSHOV