The earliest reference I've been able to find for a metal feeder is US patent No. 636,622, issued 1899-11-07 to Delbert Zell Borne and James Frey. It fed solid pigs sequentially through a slide. The origins of the very popular Margach feeder go back at least to 1914, with US patent 1,175,466 (1914-03-14), issued to Andrew L. Margach for an "Automatic Feeding Device for Line-Casting Machines." However, the earliest advertisement I've yet found dates only to 1918 (for the Fort-Ified Electric Metalfeed), and the earliest catalog example is from 1936 (Linotype Catalog No. 27). As I would think that the need for a metal feeder would date back to the Bruce pivotal typecaster of the early/mid 19th century, this is most curious.
Note: The form of the ingot used (for ingot feeders) is of course important. Sometimes the ingot form is very closely related to the feeder (look at the "Linotype Metal Feeder," below, for example, which used a special notched ingot). In those cases it makes sense to include the ingot and its molds here with the associated feeder. In other cases, though, the ingot/mold may be used by a variety of feeders, and is really more closely related to the remelting equipment used. The "drop off" style of ingot developed by United American Metals in the 1930s for use with "Margach-style" feeders, for example, would work just as well with any other suspended-long-ingot feeder (Intertype, Star, etc.) In those cases, the ingot and its molds are covered in the Remelting Equipment Notebooks.
[TO DO: scan this] [ The Inland Printer Vol. 87, No. 5 (August, 1931): 96. has a brief note, illustrated. Typemetal was melted in an external unit (I think) and converted by it into shot. This was fed into the pot through a hopper.
Fort-Ified Electric Metalfeed
[TO DO: transcribe] [See Inland Printer, v 60 n 6 (March 1918).] [US patent 1,226,651 1917-05-22, George L. Fort.] (Fort also designed a sort of an electric Linotype pot throat heater which could be applied to electric or gas pots (US patent 1,127,682, 1918-09-24))
Intertype Metal Feeder
Two-Pig Model (by 1935) and One-Pig Model (by 1942). Parts Diagrams, but no instructions yet.
Intertype (UK) Metal Feeder
Ashworth, J. Operation and Mechanism of the Linotype and Intertype p. 205 shows a feeder made by Intertype in the UK (Slough, Buckinghamshire) which differs from the US Intertype feeders.
Jordan Continuous Feeder
[ref. in Printing Trades Blue Book Eastern Edition, 1940, p. 12 and 1944-1945, p. 12, both in in United American Metals Corp. ads.]
Kendall Metal Feeder
Mergenthaler advertising flyer for the Kendall. Entries from Linotype Catalogs 27 and 56. US Patent 2,067,609 of 1937-01-12. Photographs of a Kendall on a Linotype Model 5. References in Linotype Machine Principles and Ashworth.
Linotype Metal Feeder
This is a non-suspended feeder which uses a special notched ingot.
Linotype & Machinery Ltd. Automatic Metal Feeder
This looks a lot like the Kendall
Please note that the linking image to the left is copyright by Frédéric Bisson and licensed under the Creative Commons "Attribution 2.0" license. See the About the Images page of this Notebook.
[TO DO] [The only information I have on this at present is a name ("Ludwick Feeder") and price ($40.00) in a Linotype Parts Company brochure '"Star" Replacement Parts and Accessories"]
Margach Automatic Metal Feeders
A 4-page Margach Feeder Parts Catalog and Price List. A 12-page instruction booklet describing attachment to regular Linotypes and Intertypes, the Linotype Slug and Rule Caster [sic], the Monotype Composition Caster and the Monotype Material Maker, the Ludlow, and the Elrod; also Repigging Molds. A 6-page instruction booklet describing the attachment of Margach feeders to "regular" Linotypes and Intertypes and to the Linotype Comet. Linotype and (1932) Intertype Catalog entries. Linotype Machine Principles.
A hot metal feeder (combined remelter and feeder). [TO DO: I've recently scanned a number of Monomelt publications; I need to process these and get them online]
Star Metal Feeder
Manual for the Star Self-Actuating Feeder.
Streamline Automatic Metal Feeder
A reference in the 1953 Western Newspaper Union catalog. Also a handy Ingot Hanger for hanging five spare pigs on the side of the machine.
Note: The 1927 Miller Saw-Trimmer book bears a Miller Saw-Trimmer Company logo which claims that they build both "saw-trimmers" (printer's saws) and "automatic feeders." This is not, however, a metal feeder. It is a paper feeder for platen presses. See Hackleman, Charles W. Commercial Engraving and Printing 2 ed. (1924): 462. for illustration.
These are feeders for which I've discovered some documentation (usually a patent), but not yet any indication that they were produced. Of course, this doesn't mean that they weren't produced - just that I haven't found the reference yet.
Borne & Frey (1899)
US patent 636,622. Issued 1899-11-07. to Delbert Zell Borne and James Frey. Application serial number 715,072, filed 1899-04-29. "Type-Casting Machine." Feeding small pigs sequentially through a slide.
Jung & Hubelmeyer / United American Metals
US patent 2,215,043. Issued 1940-08-17 to Albert H. Jung and Edward J. Hubelmeyer. Assigned to United American Metals. Application serial number 327,800, filed 1940-04-04. "Metal Feeding Apparatus." Note: Jung also patented the slip-off long ingot for United American Metals.
Curle Pot Puddler
US patent 1,669,456, "Puddling Device for Type-Casting Machines," issued 1928-05-15 to George L. Curle. Filed 1925-05-01 as application serial number 27,224. This is a pot agitator. I've classified it here, with metal feeders, because it looks as if it would work well with the relatively open pot of a Monomelt. It would be much more difficult to fit directly into the crowded pots and crucibles of Linotypes, Ludlows, Thompsons and the like.
George Curle was most closely associated with the Monomelt. See that Notebook for an index of Curle's inventions covered in CircuitousRoot.
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