Typesetting Machines

Typesetting Machines

 

machines designed to produce the text portion of printing plates. The first typesetting machines were used in the early 19th century to mechanize the composition of lines of text from separate letters. In 1822 the Englishman W. Church constructed a typesetting machine equipped with a keyboard. In 1866–67 the Russian inventor P. P. Kniagininskii designed the original “automatic typesetter,” which was a typesetting machine with programmed control using punched tape. The beginning of widespread industrial use of typesetting machines came about with the invention of Linotype and Monotype in the late 19th century. The original attempts at designing photocomposition machines also date to this period.

Three main types of typesetting machines are distinguished according to the principle of image formation: casting machines, composing typewriters, and photocomposition machines. Casting machines produce plates in the form of individual characters or lines with a raised printing surface, cast from type metal. Casting machines include Linotypes and Monotypes. Casting machines have become most common in the production of letterpress plates. Composing typewriters make possible the production of type matter in the form of imprints on paper, film, and other materials, using the principle of letter-by-letter printing. Such machines are used mainly in the preparation of offset plates for short-run editions with limited quality requirements. Modern photocomposition machines are more productive and are technologically combined with the offset printing process.

The technological potential of typesetting machines is characterized by the assortment of characters that can be set, the range of type sizes and line measures (length of lines), and the ability to set tables and multiline formulas. These features determine the applicability of specific models of typesetting machines. Machines also exist that are designed for the production of various elements of printing plates—for example, strip casters. There are also large-type casting machines for heads, as well as casting machines used to cast type for manual composing.

In machine composition of text, the required character or group of characters is brought into working position, and the image of the character is placed and reproduced in a line of a given measure according to the textual content and instructions for its layout. In this case it is necessary to produce justified lines (that is, lines of equal length).

Typesetting machines may be semiautomatic or automatic, depending on the degree of mechanization of the process. In the case of semiautomatic machines, the typesetter’s function consists mainly of keyboarding. Automatic machines are controlled by a program recorded on punched tape or some other data carrier. The control programs are prepared by an operator using a programming keyboard or by automatic programming systems using computers. In the latter case, automatic readout devices are used.

Modern high-speed automatic typesetting machines use cathode-ray tubes for the formation of images of characters. This makes it possible to set more than 1,000 characters per second. In the 1970’s, systems using laser technology and holography are being developed.

Logical division of words, as well as the layout of lines and columns, is performed automatically in systems with automatic programming. Video terminals are being used successfully for solving problems of automation of processes of complex makeup and editing. Development of such systems leads to the creation of automatic systems for integrated processing of text and illustration data.

In 1972, Soviet Linotype machines were in use in printing plants of 56 countries.

REFERENCES

Kolosov, A. I., and A. G. Lavrent’eva. Izgotovlenie pechatnykh form. Moscow, 1963. (Tekhnologiia poligraficheskogo proizvodstva, book 1.)
Shul’meister, M. V. Monotip, books 1–2. Moscow, 1961–63.
Petrokas, L. V., and L. A. Shneerov. Mashiny nabornogo proizvodstva. Moscow, 1973.

V. G. KSENOFONTOV

References in periodicals archive ?
Michael Schoepke grew up with the Daily Herald, cutting his teeth on the old typesetting machines -- alongside his father and uncles -- and ultimately helping convert its production to a modern, computerized system.
But it was the days of physical cut and paste, cliche, Morizawa typesetting machines. That was decades before the virtual cut-and-paste computer graphics of today.
In those days, NCR was produced by "phototypesetting." The typesetting machines used a photographic process (film paper exposed to light and then processed through a chemical bath) to generate long columns of type on scrolls of paper.
For most graphic designers, 1987 was a year of drawing boards and typesetting machines. The first issue of The Loyalist Gazette was typed on a proportional typewriter, then 'cut and pasted' by hand.
Back then, the world of printing revolved around these two automated typesetting machines. "I learned how to operate the machines from my father and brother.
(7) Many dozens of typesetting machines were designed and patented, some built, a few marketed, a few bankrupted, but in the end, the winners were the Linotype, the Monotype, and to a lesser degree the Ludlow Typograph.
Printing technology then was at the cusp of a change -- from linotype to high- speed photo typesetting machines driven by paper or magnetic tapes.
Still the number one task for computers, word processing has taken over for the typewriter (and typesetting machines) as the primary shaper of written communication.
Back when word processors were still a combination of a typewriter and a pen, newspaper copy was set into type by operators of large typesetting machines. On one occasion, the system crashed and delayed shipping of a Thursday edition.
As are the much later inventions, the monotype, linotype and intertype typesetting machines. The fact remains that Caxton did not invent printing or the printing press.
The first commercially successful automated typesetting machines went into operation in the late 1880s (1886 is the date often given for Ottmar Mergenthaler's invention of the Linotype machine.) Stories and body type for advertising copy set by the hot-metal devices suddenly were outputting lines of type 10 times faster than the time-honored pace.