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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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Caption: Spartan was issued by Mergenthaler Linotype in 1939.
Caption: Detail of a Mold Wheel in a diagram of the workings of a Linotype machine from Theodore Low De Vinne's The Practice of Typography: Modern Methods of Book Composition (New York: The Century Co., 1904) 406.
"When I was about 14, I bought a Chandler & Price hand-fed platen press for $25," he recalls, "and eventually I got a small Linotype. Dad let me do it 'as long as your grades are good.'" It was a good bargain: Jim kept his grades up, and later found the value of lessons learned in math, spelling, reading and English when he tackled newspaper work.
The Linotype became commercially available in the late 1890s, but nearly 30 years would pass before it was a common fixture at the country weekly, where type was handset, letter by letter, until after World War I.
In the early 1920s, an era when stationary gas engines were near their peak and tractor development was just taking off, the typical small town print shop consisted of a couple of job presses, a 2- or 4-page press, folder, type cabinets (one for plain type, one for "fancy"), a re-melting furnace for the Linotype's lead and a casting box.
Just as their brethren on the farm wrangled with potentially vicious devices, printers and Linotype operators worked daily with dangerous equipment.
In the case of offset printing, Linotype operators and "tramp" printers simply vanished from the landscape.
Though Mergenthaler died from tuberculosis at age 45 in 1899, he lived to see 700 Linotype machines in use.
Mergenthaler left the company after a falling out with Reid and the other publisher-shareholders, accusing them of publicly discrediting the Linotype to discourage competitors from buying it, while at the same time charging themselves bargain-basement prices for new machines (The Biography of Ottmar Mergenthaler, edited and researched by Carl Scwesinger).
Since Linotype's 1991 merger with German imaging systems maker Dr.