Composing Typewriter

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Composing Typewriter


a printing machine that uses special media, such as foil, wax stencils, paper, or film, to produce printing or photographic plates for reproduction of text and full-size original pages that resemble set type, with proportional spacing.

The Russian inventor M. I. Alisov built the first composing typewriter (1870). Modern composing typewriters are basically of the lever type, with rigidly mounted sets of type bars or with mechanically driven interchangeable group type carriers in the form of cylinders, disks, segments, or balls. Composing typewriters are capable of reproducing text and formulas in various typefaces, designs, dimensions, and alphabets. Line justification (bringing the lines to the desired standard measure by varying the spacing between words or characters) is performed by repeated typing in accordance with the “justification parameters.” Composing typewriters equipped with coding and readout devices retype lines automatically from a punched tape or card. The rate of printing on a modern composing typewriter may be as high as 960 characters per minute, which makes possible a sharp reduction in the time required for the production of plates.


Kolosov, A. I. , and A. G. Lavrent’eva. Izgotovlenie pechatnykh form. Moscow, 1963. (Tekhnologiia poligraficheskogo proizvodstva, vol. 1.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.