Mergenthaler Linotype Sales Literature

Machines and Product Lines

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The First Commercial Machines

The Linotype in the final form that Mergenthaler saw: the "Square Base" and Simplex / Model 1. (But not the earlier "Blower" Linotype and the "Band," "Round Base," etc. experimental machines.)

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Development in the 1900s: Models 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

[NOT DONE; no material yet] The first decade of the 20th century saw the development of mixers (Models 2 and 4) and the evolution of the single-magazine machine through the Model 3 into the very successful Model 5 (which was made in some form from 1906 until the end of Linotype production in the 1970s). These years also saw the first "wide measure" machines (the 36 Em Models 6 and 7; as yet I have nothing on these). Curiously, there were at this time no multiple-magazine nonmixers.

Machines from this period had considerable variation in magazines; only with the Model 5 did the standard 90-channel "No. 5" magazine emerge.

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The Remarkable Model 9

There was never another machine like the Model 9 (save for its variations, such as the wide-measure Model 12 and the side magazine Model 24). It could mix simultaneously from all four magazines.

The Four-Magazine Quick-Change Linotype Model 9. (1911). [offsite link]

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Short Machines: Models 10 and 15

[NOT DONE]

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Remanufactured Machines: Models K, L, Etc.

[NOT DONE] [The Models K and L.] [Other remanufactured machines ('R' suffix serial numbers)]

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Standardization in the 1910s (Models 5, 8/11/14, 4, 9)

[NOT DONE] The 1910s saw the first broad product lineup: A simple one-magazine machine (Model 5). A multiple magazine nonmixer (Model 8) with optional side magazines (Model 14) or wide measure (Model 11). For mixers, the Model 4 continued and was joined by the Model 9 (see above).

These three bases (a simple machine for small offices, a standard multiple magazine machine for straight work, and a mixer for display) continued at the core of the lineup until the end.

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A Flurry of Innovation (ca. 1916-1921)

[NOT DONE] The period from about 1916 through 1921 saw a remarkable number of machines, most now forgotten, which are nonetheless important because they helped Linotype develop the relationship between straight and display machines, and really set the stage for the later, mature, line of machines. Perhaps not coincidentally, this was the period in which Intertype appeared. The Model 5 was developed into a multiple-magazine machine (Model 18) and side magazines were added (Model 19); this path was not pursued, and the Model 5 remained as the simple machine in the lineup. There were various developments of the Model 9, not all mutually compatible (Models 12, 16, 17). Most importantly (I think) the Model 20 introduced the 72-channel "display" capability (developed through the Models 21 and 22). As models, these had no direct successors, but their technology became part of the "72-90" feature of the later lineup.

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Standardization in the 1920s and early 1930s

[NOT DONE] What emerged from the developments of the late 'teens was a solid lineup which continued through the early 1930s: The Model 5 continued as a simple, "entry level" machine. The Model 8 continued as a standard multiple-magazine nonmixer (with side magazines as the Model 14, or wide-measure (36-Em) as the Model 11). The Model 9 remained in production as an "extreme mixer," but modern mixer emerged with the Model 25 (Model 26 with side magazines). The basic pattern of this lineup continued through the remainder of Linotype production. The only later changes of fundamental importance were the introduction of the extra-wide models (sometimes branded "Rangemasters"), very fast models (Comets in the 1950s), and the more highly automated Elektrons (in the 1960s). The Model 9 also faded from view.

[NOT DONE] Linotype Flexibility (1930; the Models 8, 14, 25, 26 and 9.

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Transition to the "Blue Streak" Era (Mid-1930s)

[NOT DONE] "Blue Streak" is a marketing concept, not an engineering one. In 1935 (pre-Blue-Streak), Linotype introduced the first wide-magazine models (27, 28). Then in 1936 they replaced the 26 and 25 (mixers) with the 29 and 30. Around this point, they rebranded the entire lineup "Blue Streak": 8 & 14 (multiple-magazine nonmixers), 25 & 26, succeeded by 29 & 30 (mixers), 27 & 28 (wide-magazine nonmixers). (There was no wide-magazine mixer until the Models 35 & 36 were introduced in 1941.) Of course, the 5 and 9 continued, too. The 5 later became "Blue Streak," but the 9 did not.

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The Mature "Blue Streak" Lineup (1937 On)

In 1937 the old standard nonmixers (8, 11) were replaced by two new standard nonmixers (31, 32) which continued until the end of production. A mature "Blue Streak"-branded lineup emerged around this point: A simple one-magazine machine (Model 5), multiple-magazine nonmixers (31, 32), modern mixers (29, 30), and the same pattern of nonmixer/mixers and side magazines (or not) in the wide-channel machines (later called "Rangemaster" machines: Models 33/34 & 35/36). These are the machines that the last generation of Linotype operators and machinists remember. They ran the world's newspapers from the disappearance of Amelia Earhart to the disappearance of the Linotype itself in the digital era.

Also The Linotype Line (circa 1960), which includes the Comet (see below) and Linofilm phototypesetting equipment.

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The Comet

A small machine designed for speed, introduced in 1950.

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The Elektron Line

These were a re-engineering of the entire lineup in the 1960s. They did change some very basic features (the Assembling Elevator, for example), but I've looked under the sheetmetal of an Elektron and Ottmar Mergenthaler looked back at me. The emphasis of the series was automation.

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A Puzzle

I hesitate even to discuss this puzzle, for fear that merly by doing so I'll introduce a persistent rumor of a machine that never was. In any case, here it is.

I've never heard anyone at all mention a hot metal Linotype model called the "Quick." However, I have seen a single reference to it: a note in the Fairchild Graphic Systems Fairchild Teletypesetter Operating Units for Linotype Machines that the Model TOU-75-4 Teletypesetter Operating Unit was designed for "the Linotype Quick." Other units in this series were designed for the Comet and the Elektron. The same photograph is used to illustrate both the TOU-75-2 (Comet) and TOU-75-4 (Quick). There was a Linofilm Quick, but it was a phototypesetting machine which did not use a Linotype-style keyboard, operated from tape direclty, and would not, I presume, have required a TTS operating unit.

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