Composing Linecasting Technical Books

Third-Party, Maintenance

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Technical books on Linotype and Intertype composing linecasters, other than those written by the manufacturers.

For practical maintenance, it is best to start with the official major books by each of the two major manufacturers: Linotype Machine Principles and The Intertype. The earlier third-party technical books, while good in their own ways, are often difficult for a novice to apply to later machines (Linotypes were manufactured for nearly 90 years, after all). Among the third-party books, the best ones to start with are Abel & Straw (for a general treatment) and Harding & Loomis (for answers to many specific questions).

There is an excellent two-volume book by J. Ashworth, Operation and Mechanism of the Linotype and Intertype. (London: Staples Press Ltd., 1955.) It covers primarily the English versions of the Linotype and Intertype. Regrettably, it is in copyright in the US (at present until 2050) and I cannot reprint it.

For technical literature on the Ludlow noncomposing linecaster, see ../../../../ Noncomposing Linecasters -> Ludlow Typograph -> Ludlow Literature. I have no technical information on the Nebitype noncomposing linecaster, and probably wouldn't be able to reprint it due to copyright issues even if I had any. For the All-Purpose-Linotype ("A-P-L"), a noncomposing linecaster, see the chapter on it in Linotype Machine Principles ; I have a tiny bit of technical information on it which I haven't yet digitized.

I have no technical information on the Linograph (there is one reference to it in Harding & Loomis, though); Jim Daggs reprinted most of the (scant) surviving Linograph literature in 2009. I have as yet no substantial technical information on the Linotype Junior or the Rogers Typograph. These were all successful, though now nearly forgotten, composing linecasters.

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Abel & Straw. The Mechanism of the Linotype and Intertype (1950-1961)

Abel, Oscar R. and Windsor Straw. The Mechanism of the Linotype and Intertype. (Brookings, SD: Lebawarts, 1950, 1956, and 1961). (Note: "lebawarts" is "abel" and "straw" each backward.) This began as their revision of Thompson's venerable Mechanism of the Linotype . As of 2012, new-old-stock copies were still available from Patrick Leary. This means that some version of this book was in print continuously from the late 19th century to the early 21st.

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Thompson. The Mechanism of the Linotype (1902-1922?)

[NOT DONE] This book went through many editions. Prior to the publication by the Mergenthaler company of Rogers' Linotype Instruction Book (1925) it was perhaps the most important book-length treatment of the Linotype.

[click image to read at The Internet Archive]
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Harding & Loomis. Linecasting Operator-Machinist

Harding, Edwin B. and Noel M. Loomis, Eds. Linecasting Operator-Machinist (Pittsburgh, PA: Stockton Book Publishers, 1958). This is a compendium of responses to user queries to columns in several contemporary magazines about Linotype and Intertype maintenance. As a collection it was published in 1958, but some of the information in it goes back to the late 19th century.

Here's a local copy of the 300dpi (scaled down from 600) PDF (599 Megabytes): harding-loomis-linecasting-operator-machinist-1958-0600dpijpg50pct.pdf

Harding & Loomis is an extremely useful volume to have in the shop. But usually you don't need the entire book - no need for the chapter on the distributor box when fixing mold problems. One can of course just download the entire PDF and print out the chapter needed. But this takes a relatively fast net connection, something still less common than generally thought. So here are the individual chapters as PDFs. They range in size from 51 Megabytes (Chapter 2) down to 7.3 Megabytes (Chapter 10).

[click image to read at The Internet Archive]
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McCall. Linotype Manual (1898)

A book of technical instruction for the Linotype, from 1898. The copyright is by F. H. McCall, and presumably the book is by him. However, its publication information is not at all clear. The link here is to a copy (scanned by CircuitousRoot) at The Internet Archive.


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