The Linotype was invented in 1885 by Ott mar Mergenthaler, a German by birth, then liv ing in ,Baltimore, and first put into practical use by the New York Tribune in 1886. Since then it has come into general use by news papers and printing offices throughout the world.
The machine contains as fundamental ele ments several hundred brass matrices. E,ach matrix consists of a flat plate having in one edge a female character or matrix proper, and in the upper end a series of teeth which are used for distributing the matrices to their proper places in the magazine of the machine. Matnces are also made having two characters, Fig. 1, as for instance, a Roman and Italic letter, either of which may be used at will. There are in the machine a number of matrices for each letter, and also matrices representing special characters and spaces.
The seneral organization of the machine is shown in outline in Fig. 2. A represents an inclined fixed magazine, con taining channels in which the assorted matrices are stored and through which they slide, enter ing at the upper and escaping at the lower end, one at a time. Each channel in the magazine has at the lower end an escape ment B, connected by a rod C with a finger key D, represent ing the letter or character of the matrices in the corresponding channel. There is a key for each character, and also keys for quads and for the wedge . spacers.
The operation of the various keys results in the selection of the matrices and spacers and their collection in assembler G, until it contains all the characters to be represented in one line of print. After the line is thus composed, it is transferred mechanically, through the path indi cated by dotted lines in Fig. 2, to a position in front of a mold or slot extending through the wheel K, from its front to its rear face. This mold is of the size and shape of the slug or line of type required, and it determines both the measure and the body of the line. While the line is in place in front of the mold, the wedge spacers are pushed up through the line, which is instantly and exactly justified thereby.
Behind the mold, there is a melting pot M, heated by flame from a gas, gasoline or elec tric heater. After the matrix line is in place
against the front of the mold, as shown in Fig. 2, a pump forces the molten metal through the pot mouth into the mold, against and into the characters in the matrix line. The metal in stantly solidifies, forming a slug having on its edge raised characters formed by the matrices. The slug is then automatically removed from the mold being trimmed to the proper length and thickness by Icnives. The line is then lifted from the mold and shifted laterally, until the teeth in the upper end of the matrices engage the horizontal ribs on a bar which rises, as shown by dotted line at R, lifting the matrices to the distributor at the top of the machine. The matrices pursue a circulatory course through the machine, starting singly from the bottom of the magazine, passing thence to the line being composed, thence to the mold, and finally back to the top of the magazine. This circulation permits the operations of com posing one line, casting from a second and distributing a third to be carried on concur rently, and enables the machine to run at a speed exceeding that at which any operator can finger the keys. There are a dozen or more models of Linotypcs in present use with a wide latitude of accomplishment. The modem models handle all type bodies from 5 point to 36 point, and assemble matrices from all maga zines in one line. All machines set from 4 to 30 ems pica measure. Wider measures are obtained by assembling two or more slugs end to end. The later models have many added con veniences, and the larger machines carry two or more simultaneously acting distributors. From one to four interchangeable magazines are supplied with individual machines. Each magazine contains two-letter matrices repre senting 180 characters. On models 16 and 17, each having two magazines, the mere touching ot a key brings either magazine into operation, rendering available 360 characters from one keyboard of 90 keys. In other models an aux iliary magazine is added with keyboard of 28 keys representing 56 characters, making a total of 416 characters in the machine.