(Metal Feeders)

image link-topic-sf0.jpg

1. Introduction

The Margach Manufacturing Company was known best in the linecasting world for its automatic metal feeders. These were fitted as third-party accessories to both Linotype and Intertype composing linecasters and to Ludlow noncomposing linecasters. (I have examples of all three situations). Margach called its feeder the "universal feeder for all typesetting and typecasting machines." This may be so. Margach documentation describes fitting it to "regular" Linotypes and Intertypes, the Linotype Comet, the Linotype "Slug and Rule Caster" (surely this must be the "Lead and Rule Caster), the Ludlow, the Elrod, and the Monotype Composition Caster, Giant Caster, and Material Maker.

(The Margach can also be fitted to the Thompson Typecaster. I know of two owners of Thompsons who have machines once so equipped. For mounting on the Thompson, a special Melting-Pot-Yoke Stud (part no. 40TC in its various forms) is used which is drilled and tapped for a feeder mounting (or the solid stud could be drilled and tapped in the field). When used with a Thompson, a standard long ingot cannot be used because it is too thick. A special thinner ingot has to be employed; this is cast in an ingot mold which resembles an ordinary long ingot mold save that the mold is deeper around the stud which forms the mounting hole in the ingot; this allows a shallower ingot to be cast which still has a mounting hole. The Lanston Monotype Machine Company lists an "Automatic Metal Feeder" with "thin ingot" molds in its Thompson parts lists, but does not assign it a part number or explicitly call out a Margach product.)

The Mergenthaler Linotype Company offered the Margach feeder for sale as an accessory. In the 1932 Intertype Parts, Supplies and Accessories catalog, Intertype did offer the Margach feeder by name. By 1935, however, they had replaced it with a unit under their own name.

The Margach feeder came in at least two basic mechanical designs:

One was operated by a chain attached to a part of the machine which would move once per cycle (for example, to the First Elevator Arm of a Linotype or Intertype). This is shown the Linotype/Intertype installations in both of the Margach Automatic Metal Feeder Instructions documents, below.

The other, called the "friction type" of feeder, relied solely upon the float. The 12-page Margach Automatic Metal Feeder Instructions, below, describes this style of feeder as applied both to the Elrod (where previously the chain-operated style had been used) and to various Monotypes. I know from an experienced Linotype machinist that a Margach feeder of this type was in fact fitted to a Monotype Material Maker in his shop.

Margach feeders were also available (at least for Linotypes, in the "Operating Chain" style) in "single pitch" and "double pitch" versions. The latter fed metal twice as fast as the former, for display casting.

Although I am not (yet) familiar with them, apparently Margach also made water-cooled casting molds. The 12-page Margach Automatic Metal Feeder Instructions book, below, illustrates these. See also Linotype Catalogs 27 and 56.

2. Vendor Catalogs (Linotype)

The image below is the catalog advertisement for the Margach feeder from the Mergenthaler Linotype Company's "Catalog No. 27" Special Supplies Catalog, from 1936. (Printing code: 741.271-E-O-27X) Page 45. Note that this illustration shows two ingots, not one.

The image below is the catalog advertisement for the Margach feeder from the Mergenthaler Linotype Company's "Catalog No. 56," Linotype Accessories and Supplies, published without a date, but probably in the 1950s. (Printing code: 741.56-H-UU-41-5X) Page 68.

3. Vendor Catalogs (Intertype)

The image below is the catalog advertisement for the Margach feeder from the 1932 Intertype Parts, Supplies and Accessories book (Brooklyn, NY: Intertype Corporation, 1932). Page 324.

4. Linotype Machine Principles

Linotype Machine Principles (NY: Mergenthaler Linotype Company, 1940): 440) has this to say about the Margach Metal Feeder:

"This two-pig feeder can be attached to any model Linotype within thirty minutes. It operate perfectly whether gas or electric pots are used. The automatic feed of the ingot is controlled by a chain attached to the first elevator lever. Every time the Linotype completes one cycle of operation, the chain operates the overhead mechanism allowing the ingot to sink slightly into the metal int he pot, provided the metal level in the pot is low enough to require it. This level is regulated to a predetermined point by a float which allows the mechanism to operate if necessary and prevents it from operating if the level of metal in the pot is correct.

"This feeder is substantially built and will last indefinitely. It is a practical automatic feeding device, requiring no adjustment whether casting 5 point or 60 point. The ingots weight 30 pounds each and can be replaced quickly and easily by hanging them on hooks provided on the feeder.

5. Margach Literature

[click image to read at The Internet Archive]
image link-to-parts-catalog-sf0.jpg

MARGACH FEEDER PARTS Catalog and Price List

This Parts Catalog is undated, and indeed not identified by any distinguishing edition marking. In it the price of each upper and lower shaft assembly is $15, which might help to distinguish it from earlier and later lists. It was printed as a four-page, single-fold booklet, but the plates on pages 2 and 3 do not correspond exactly to the pages. I've rotated pages 2, 3, and 4 in this transcription.

Thanks are due to Greg Fisher ("the Linofish") for preserving this document and making it available.

[click image to read at The Internet Archive]
image link-to-12-page-instructions-sf0.jpg

Instructions (for Several Machines), 12 Page

This book of Instructions covers the attachment of the "Operating Chain" style feeder to regular Linotypes and Intertypes, the Model 1, K, and L Linotypes (see p. 2 and also the note on p. 6 for the "Slug and Rule Caster" attachment), the Models 9 and 24 Linotypes (see p. 3), all 42-Em Linotypes (see p. 3), the Linotype "Slug and Rule Caster" [sic; this must be the "Lead and Rule Caster"], and the Ludlow. It mentions the fitting of this style of feeder to the Elrod in the past, but does not discuss it. It covers the attachment of the "Friction" style feeder to the Ludlow, Elrod, and various Monotypes (Composition Caster, Giant Caster, Material Caster). All of the discussions are, however, very brief. It also illustrates the Margach water-cooled mold system and a "Two-Ingot Repigging System for Hoe Pump."

Thanks are due to Greg Fisher ("the Linofish") for preserving this document and making it available.

[click image to read at The Internet Archive]
image margach-automatic-metal-feeder--regular-and-comet-p1-1200grey-crop-5568x9120-scale-2048x3354-sf0.jpg

Instructions, 6 Page, "Regular" & Comet

This brief book of Instructions is undated, but it must be relatively late in the linecasting era as it discusses the attachment of the Margach feeder not only to "regular" Linotype and Intertype machines, but also the the high-speed Linotype Comet. It does not cover attachment to other equipment such as the Ludlow, Elrod or various Monotypes.

Thanks are due to Phil Ambrosi for preserving this document and making it available.

[click image to read]
image attaching-margach-to-ludlow-or-elrod-rot1p2ccw-crop-1856x2716-scale-icon-1024x1498-sf0.jpg

Instructions for Ludlow and Elrod, 4 Page

This is a composite document which consists of a single page of instructions for attaching the Margach Feeder to the Ludlow and to the Elrod, along with low-resolution photographs of photocopies of illustrations of this, augmented by equivalent versions of these illustrations taken from the 12-page "Instructions" reprinted above. It is 21 Megabytes in size.

Thanks to Sky Shipley of Skyline Type Foundry ( ) for making this available.

6. Patents

Patents by Margach for their feeders or concerning feeders generally in the Margach style. This collection is not yet complete.

[click image to read]
image link-to-us-1737865-sf0.jpg

US 1,737,865

United States patent 1,737,865. Issued 1929-12-03. Application serial number 86,689 filed 1926-02-08. Clifford W. Reagan (not assigned). Metal Feeder. (Applying a Margach-style feeder to machines such as the Monotype which "vibrate to a high degree during operation.")

Select Resolution: 0 [other resolutions temporarily disabled due to lack of disk space]