English Linotype Models

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1. Brief Corporate History

The best source for detailed information on the origins of the British Linotype company is Basil Kahan's biography of Ottmar Mergenthaler {Kahan 2000}. The company was launched and then almost immediately re-launched in 1889 as The Linotype Company Limited. It set up a manufacturing plant in Manchester in December 1889 and started, but never completed, the production of "Blower" Linotypes. ( {L&M 1964}, p 1, dates the Manchester plant to 1890.)

The Square Base Linotype was first demonstrated in England in 1891. Kahan says "The Square Base Linotype was so much better than the previous model that ... the British Linotype Company abandoned production of Blowers before a single machine was completed." The "first British built Square Base Linotypes [were] installed at [the] Newcastle Evening Chronicle in 1892; "models produced in the British factory had different features from the American Machines." ( {Kahan 2000}, pp. 222, 184, 222; {L&M 1964}, p 2.)

The first British Model 1 Linotype was announced and delivered in 1895. ( {Kahan 2000}, p. 223; {L&M 1964}, p 2.)

In 1897 work began on establishing a factory at Altrincham. ( {Kahan 2000}, p. 223) This was formally opened in 1899. ( {MOSI 2001}, p. 1)

In 1903 The Linotype Company Ltd. merged with The Machinery Trust Ltd. to become Linotype & Machinery Ltd. ( {MOSI 2001}, p. 1) In addition to Linotypes, it became an important manufacturer of printing presses and other equipment.

In 1909, the Mergenthaler Linotype Company (US) acquired a controlling interest in both Linotype & Machinery Ltd. and in Mergenthaler Setzmaschinen-Fabrik GmbH (in Germany). ( { Inland Printer 43.1, p. 86} , {Moody's 1918}, pp. 583-584) I do not know what the relationship between the American and English companies was after this. From an engineering point of view the machines of the English company were always quite distinct from those of the American company. We know also that the English company made their own drawings for types designed by the American company (Caledonia, for example).

In 1983, Linotype & Machinery changed its name to "L&M". It survived until at least 2001, manufacturing printing machinery. ( {MOSI 2001}, p. 2)

The Linotype & Machinery Archive is held by the Museum of Science & Industry, Manchester. ( {MOSI 2001}, p. 1)

2. Individual English Linotype Models

This is a chronological account by date of first introduction.

The Square Base and Model 1 machines corresponded roughly to the American models of the same designations. But beginning with the Model 2 and until the Elektron, the English Linotype models were entirely unrelated to the American models. (An English Model 2, for example, is a single-magazine machine; and American Model 2 is a two-magazine mixer.)

From an operator's point of view, the two most significant differences between the English and American machines are the matrix depth-of-drive and the magazine escapements. The American depth-of-drive is 0.043 inches, while the English is 0.050 inches. In every American Linotype from at least the Model 1 on (I'm not sure about the Square Base yet), the matrix escapement is integral with the machine rather than a part of the magazine. In every English Linotype except the Model 2 and the Elektrons, the escapement is integral with the magazine. ( {L&M 1964}, p 1.)

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The English "Square Base" Linotype

English version first shipped in 1892.

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The English Model 1 Linotype

The English version of the (American) Model 1. The English version first shipped in 1895.

Note that it is not correct to refer to this machine as the "Simplex" Linotype. See the Notebook on the "Simplex" Linotype (Never Made In America) for a discussion of why there never was a "Simplex" Linotype in America or England.

The English Model 1 was produced in four variants:

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The English Model 2 Linotype

Introduced in 1906. One magazine, front-change.

With this machine the model numbering of English Linotype machines diverges from that of American machines. The English Model 2 is unrelated to the American Model 2 (which is a two-magazine mixer introduced in 1903). The English Model 2 was closer in capabilities to the American Model 3 or Model 5.

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The English Model 3 Linotype

Introduced in 1907. Two-magazine mixer. Type up to 14 point.

A 180-key Arabic version was also produced.

(The unrelated American Model 3 was a single-magazine successor to the Model 1, introduced in 1902.)

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The English Model 4 / 4 S.M. Linotype

Introduced in 1908. Three-magazine nonmixer. 5 to 14 point. 30 pica measure; 36 pica on special order.

English Model 4 S. M. (Side Magazine version) introduced in 1923.

(The unrelated American Model 4 was a two-magazine mixer introduced in 1906. The English Models 4 and 4-S.M. were closer in capabilities to the American Model 8 (1911) and Model 14 (1914.))

The English Model 4 was produced in at least variants:

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The English Model 65 Linotype

Introduced in 1913. Four-magazine mixer in fixed pairs (top two, bottom two).

I am aware of no explanation as to why such a high (and out-of-sequence) model number was assigned at this early date. (There is no chance of confusing this with an American model. American Linotype model numbers ended at 36.)

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The English Model 6 / 6 S.M. Linotype

Introduced in 1916. Four-magazine mixer in adjacent pairs (1 & 2 / 2 & 3 / 3 & 4).

English Model 6 S. M. (two-keyboard, four side magazine version) introduced in 1929.

Superseded by the English Models 50 and 50 S.M. of 1936.

(The unrelated American Model 6 was a wide-measure (36 pica) version of the American Model 5.)

Note: 3-way quadder (left, right, center) introduce in 1933. ( {L&M 1964}, p 2.)

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The English Model 48 / 48 S.M. Linotype

Both models introduced 1935 as three main and (48 S.M.) three side magazine machines. Later expanded to four main and four side magazines. These became the standard multi-magazine nonmixers until they were replaced by the English Model 78 some time after 1959.

In terms of market-segment correspondences, these machines filled the same roles as were filled in America by the American Models 8/ 14 (standard 3-magazine nonmixers, 1911-1937) and American "Blue Streak" Models 31/ 32 (standard 4-magazine nonmixers, 1937- ). Visually, they look a lot like the American "Blue Streak" machines.

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The English Model 50 / 50 S.M. Linotype

Introduced in 1936 as four main and (50 S.M.) four side magazine mixers. Wider main magazines than the English Model 48 nonmixer, but not yet as wide as the English "Super Range" Linotype.

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The English All-Purpose Linotype?

{L&M Circa 1936}, pp. 33, 36-37 shows and describes the All-Purpose Linotype. It is not clear to me that there was actually a separately engineered English version of the American All-Purpose-Linotype, but there might have been.

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The English "Super Range" Linotype

[Date of introduction not yet known to me; prior to 1959, though.] A extra-wide 72-channel version of the English Model 50.

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The English Model 53 Linotype

Introduced in 1953. One magazine, two-pocket mold wheel, otherwise similar to the English Model 48. (No side magazines.)

This would seem to be a machine for the same intended market as the American Model 5.

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The English Model 54 Linotype

Introduced in 1954. A "high-speed machine for TTS operation" ( {L&M 1964}, p 2.)

Note: In all weights for the "Seventy Series" given below, if the machine is equipped with an automatic quadder or a Hydraquadder add 2 qr 12 lb (31 Kg). ( {L&M 1964}, p. 133.)

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The English Model 70 Linotype

Part of the "Seventy Series"; series introduction 1959. Replaced English Model 50. Side Magazine version available.

Model 70. Weight with magazines but no matrices: 1 ton 18 cwt (1930 Kg). Height: 6' 11" (2109 mm). ( {L&M 1964}, pp. 133-134.)

Model 70 S. M. Weight with magazines but no matrices: 2 ton 5 cwt (2285 Kg). Height: 6' 11" (2109 mm). ( {L&M 1964}, pp. 133-134.)

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The English Model 72 Linotype

Part of the "Seventy Series"; series introduction 1959. Replaced English "Super Range" model. Side Magazine version available.

Model 72. Weight with magazines but no matrices: 1 ton 18 cwt (1930 Kg). Height: 6' 11" (2109 mm). ( {L&M 1964}, pp. 133-134.)

Model 72 S. M. Weight with magazines but no matrices: 2 ton 5 cwt (2285 Kg). Height: 6' 11" (2109 mm). ( {L&M 1964}, pp. 133-134.)

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The English Model 73 Linotype

Part of the "Seventy Series"; series introduction 1959. Replaced English Model 53.

Weight with magazines but no matrices: 1 ton 7 cwt (1372 Kg). Height: 6' 7" (2007 mm). ( {L&M 1964}, pp. 133-134.)

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The English Model 78 Linotype

Part of the "Seventy Series"; series introduction 1959. Replaced English Model 48. Side Magazine version available.

Model 78. Weight with magazines but no matrices: 1 ton 12 cwt (1626 Kg). Height: 6' 7" (2007 mm). ( {L&M 1964}, pp. 133-134.)

Model 78 S. M. Weight with magazines but no matrices: 2 ton 4 cwt (2235 Kg). Height: 6' 7" (2007 mm). ( {L&M 1964}, pp. 133-134.)

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The English Model 79 Linotype

Part of the "Seventy Series"; series introduction 1959. Replaced English Model 54.

Model 77. Weight with magazines but no matrices: 1 ton 11 cwt (1575 Kg). Height: 6' 7 1/2" (2019 mm). [actually, the book says 2109, but that is a typographical error] ( {L&M 1964}, pp. 133-134.)

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The English Elektron Series

Series introduced in 1962. Only English machines other than the English Model 2 to have escapements integral with the machine rather than the magazines. No assembling elevator.

I do not yet know the degree to which these machines differed from the American Elektron series, or which Elektron models were introduced in England.

3. Notes and References

{ Inland Printer 43.1, p. 86} Thompson, John S., ed. "Machine Composition" (column) The Inland Printer.

This volume of The Inland Printer has been scanned by Google from the University of Minnesota copy and is available from The Hathi Trust (Hathi ID: mumn.319510018987681). Below is a PDF format version of the page containing the news item about the acquisitions by the Mergenthaler Linotype Company of controlling interests in Linotype & Machinery Ltd. and Mergenthaler Setzmaschinen-Fabrik GmbH.

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{L&M Circa 1936} The Linotype: Its Mechanical Details and their Adjustments. London: Linotype and Machinery Limited, [n.d., circa 1936]

{L&M 1964} The Linotype Manual. London: Linotype and Machinery Limited, 1964.

{Moody's 1918} Moody, John. Moody's Manual of Investments, Part II: Public Utilities and Industrials Ninth Year. NY: Moody's Investors Service, 1918.

This volume has been digitized by Google from the Princeton University copy. Below is an extract, in PDF format, of the two pages for the Mergenthaler Linotype Company.

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{MOSI 2001} "The Linotype & Machinery Co. Ltd." Manchester, UK: Museum of Science & Industry, 2001. Online at: http://www.mosi.org.uk/media/33870636/thelinotypeandmachineryco.pdf

{Kahan 2000} Kahan, Basil. Ottmar Mergenthaler: The Man and His Machine. (New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 2000)

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