The English "Square Base" Linotype


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1. Overview

The Square Base Linotype was first demonstrated in England in 1891 (that would have been an American model). 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) It was produced in the Manchester factory (this was before the factory at Altrincham was built) by The Linotype Company Ltd. (which had not yet become Linotype & Machinery Ltd.)

The machine was not called the "Square Base" Linotype at the time, but was simply "The Linotype."

I have not been able to determine the technical specifications of the British-built Square Base Linotype.

Here it is shown in an advertisement from The British Printer in 1893. {BP 1893}

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The image above links to a PDF of the entire page. In that PDF, the strange dual-coloration is due to the combination of underlying images formats used by Google Books (the cut is preserved in color as a JPEG2000 image while the rest is monochrome as a JBIG2 image).

The final advertisement for the Square Base machine in The British Printer was in the January/February 1895 number (Vol. 8, Whole No. 43), in p. 48 of the advertising section. {BP 1895} In the March/April number they began advertising the (English) Model 1.

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2. Notes and References

{BP 1893} The British Printer, Vol. 6 (1893). This volume has been digitized by Google from the University of California, Berkeley, copy. Unfortunately, the advertisements were bound at the end in the bound volume, and with the degradation of digital imaging it is no longer possible to determine which number the advertisements were a part of.

{BP 1895} The British Printer, Vol. 8 (1895). Digitized by Google. The advertising section is numbered separately and appears after each issue. The final advertisement for the English Square Base Linotype appears in Vol. 8, Whole No. 43 (Jan.-Feb. 1895): [Ads] 48.

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

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