Today linotype sent us their amazing new film, a documentary centered around Lynotype’s casting machine made by Douglas Wilson. Thomas Edison once said to the linotype: “Eighth wonder ot the world” because it once revolutionized printing and society.

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The Linotype completely transformed the communication o information similar to the internet today in its time. Always in battle with the time there had to be a solution for printing faster. So the first model of Mergenthaler company built in 1886 was called “blower” because it was driven with pressed air. With this machine over 5.000 glyphs could have been inserted within one hour. After more than 100 years of hot metal and passion for printing, the personal computer finally replaced the linotype.

125 years

What place does the Linotype have in the age of new technology? Should the machine be shoved into a museum and left to rust? Why should anyone care about typography or the technology of communication? And Who is etaoin shrdlu?

linotype

Some of these questions and the whole history and revolution of the linotype machine are shown in this awesome documentation. Beginning with the question what a linotype is the interviewed operators say “It makes one line of type, that’s why it’s calle Linotype” or simply “It’s a love affair”. Mark Twain counts as the biggest investor in type but after 6 tries of producing a machine which is fast and accurate enough. In the end it was a german watchmaker Ottmar Mergenthaler who brought the solution – the individual matrix machine. Even Einstein was attracted by the Linotype.

einstein linotype

This film is a highlight for every typographer out there and a must for every designer, because it shows you the way of typesetting before computers. Today nobody could feel how much work and effort typography costed throught the last centuries, but it is the history of print and therefor important to everyone working with letters and layouts. Thanks to the linotype company for sending us this masterpiece and for the great inspiration!

Get it in our Typostrate book and film shop
Or buy it directly at linotype.

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