This machine, it will be seen, requires accuracy in construction, as do also the types that are used with it, and this has been reduced to an exact system. The types prepared by casting in the usual manner. are set in line, clamped in a slide, and the lines of notches or grooves upon the edges are plowed or planed in them : the accuracy of the tools employed in these operations determines the accuracy and perfect working of the machine. The grooves have been cast in the characters in several cases. By the use of this machine, types made in the highest perfection of type founding are used, which is not the case in the type of stereotyping or line casting, because the differences in the form or character of different parts of the same font of letters demand for the best perfection differences of temperature and of metal, which are regulated by the skill and care of the workmen in making the type.
In handling the type by this machine, contact of the face of the letter with any of the parts of the machine is avoided, so that the best possible typography is seemed by it. The only apparatus or adjunct requisite for this machine is steam power, or other propelling power. As compared with other machines requiring the melting and cooling of metals, and electric batteries for checking errors arising from the derangement of the machine, and air currents for imparting, motion to matrices, or other equivalent parts, it is said to be simpler and superior. The use of these machines involves the expense of the wages of these opera tives, to-wit : One compositor, one justifier, and one boy for distribution, per machine, and one man to set the head lines for a number of machines.
The Lanston Type belongs to a new class in the typographical art. It is, in fact, "a machine that reads copy, and automatically rewrites it in type metal." By means of the devices invented by Mr. Tolbert. Lanston, the functions of the type easter and the com positor are combined in a single mechanical process, the type metal being transferred from the crucible to the galley in the form of composed type, ready for the press. The only man nal part of the work is the manipulation of a keyboard, operated independently as to time and place from the type machine proper, the movements of the latter being entirely auto matic. This keyboard contains a separate key for every character and space type contained in a complete font. They are 225 in number in the machine now in use, and these are ar ranged in a bank of 15 rows, of 15 keys each. The depression of any Ivey punches a round hole in a paper ribbon. When the last syllable which can be put in any line has been re
corded by these holes in the paper ribbon, the extent to which the spaces of that line must be varied (by being made either smaller or larger) to justify the line, is indicated by a scale, and a record of the degree of variance is made by means of holes punched in singly in the paper. The roll of paper ribbon having been filled with such holes punched at definite close intervals along its length, is next transferred to the type machine proper. It is evident that as the paper ribbon is placed in the type machine just as it conies from the keyboard, the holes enter the type machine in the inverse order to that in which they were made, and, conse quently, the justifying holes will enter the machine immediately before the line to which they apply, and by their presence devices are first put in operation which, while permitting the character types to be formed of proper normal width, automatically alter the width of the space types in the line in the amount previously read on the scale at the keyboard as being necessary to secure the justification of that particular line. The automatic con tinuance of these processes results in casting the types composing the line in the inverse order of their arrangement therein, and in their being placed in the galley accurately justi fied, ready to be arranged in the form on the imposing stone.
As a general conclusion, it can be said that these inventions automatically make and set type at a rate daily which will supplant the labor, in its present form, of the type caster, of those engaged in the hand finishing of type at the foundries, and of 5 compositors, a total of S persons. To do this requires the services, on an average, of 1 persons to each type machine and keyboard.
The perfected La.nston keyboard is operated by electricity, and has the power to repeat the same letter or space continuously, so long as any one key is held down, at a rate very much more ra-pid than can be with comfort accomplished by repeated strokes of the same key. This faculty of automatic repetition enables all " fat " matter to be filled in with surprising rapidity. Thus, if a line is to he east blank, the key of the " em " quad is held down, and the index races to the end of the line without any effort on the part of the oper ator. In comparing the work of the keyboard operator with that of the typewriter, the latter has no equivalent to this mechanical repetition in such work as dashes, thus, which requires a separate key movement at each one.