The "Simplex" Linotype

Never Made In America

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1. Summary

A number of sources, some of them quite authoritative, refer to either the Square Base Linotype or the Model 1 Linotype as the "Simplex" Linotype. (At least one well-known source refers to both of these machines as the "Simplex" Linotype!) However, there is no mention of a "Simplex" model Linotype in any American source until 1954. Neither Ottmar Mergenthaler nor the (American) Mergenthaler company ever made a "Simplex Linotype."

The term is an alternative name for the version of the Model 1 Linotype manufactured by Mergenthaler Setzmaschinen GmbH in Germany. It is attested in the German literature by 1901, although it does not seem to have been used frequently until relatively recently. It entered American usage in an abridged 1954 translation of a German book on Mergenthaler. Since then, its use has spread and it has caused considerable confusion. There are now sources which claim that Ottmar Mergenthaler built this machine, that the Mergenthaler Linotype Company built it, that it was the Model 1, that it was the "Square Base," that it was the Model 1 and the Square Base, and even that it was the "Blower" Linotype. None of these things are true. The name "Simplex Linotype" has no place in the description of any American, British, Canadian, or any other non-German Linotype model.

2. Identity of the Machines

Let's start by showing clearly what the "Square Base" and Model 1 Linotypes in fact were.

The identity of the machine introduced in 1890 as the successor to the "Blower" Linotype is secure. It is now commonly called the "Square Base" Linotype (q.v.) to distinguish it from other machines, It had no special model name at the time it was produced. It was referred to simply as "The Linotype" or, in very early literature from 1890 "The New Linotype" For example, in 1889 the Mergenthaler company said "We designate this improved machine as the New Linotype." It was called "New" so as to distinguish it from the Blower Linotype, which had only been brought to the attention of the trade in 1889. {MPC 1890}, p. 7.

Here is an illustration of the visually distinctive machine introduced in 1890 as "The Linotype" or "The New Linotype" which has come to be called, informally, the "Square Base Linotype":

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image ../square-base/link-to-pearson-ottmar-mergenthaler-1935-1200rgb-048-square-base-linotype-pearson-sf0.jpg

( {Pearson 1935}, p. 48.)

Similarly, the identity of the machine introduced commercially in 1892 which was at introduction called simply "The Linotype" but which has become known as the Model 1 is also secure. Unlike earlier machines, it remained a supported machine for many decades, and appears in Mergenthaler Linotype Company parts catalogs. (There's nothing quite like a parts book to securely identify a machine.) There is some confusion as to the date for this machine since a visually very similar machine was demonstrated in public in 1890 by Ottmar Mergenthaler (at the Judge Building in New York), but Mergenthaler Linotype Company records indicate that the first shipment was in 1892. Here it is as shown in the first ad for it in The Inland Printer, in 1893:

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image ../model-01/link-to-inland-printer-v010-n5-1893-02-hathi-mdp-39015086781377-p0458-img0380-first-model-1-linotype-ad-sf0.jpg

(From The Inland Printer. Vol. 10, No. 5 (Feb. 1893): 458. Digitized by Google from the Univ. of Michigan copy and available via The Hathi Trust.)

Here is the same cut used by the Mergenthaler Linotype Company in their overview of Linotype history in the 1914 edition of Suggestions to Linotype Machinists. In this 1914 source, they indicate that the Model 1 was obsolete, but still available on special order. (The 1916 edition of the same book says the same thing.)

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image link-to-suggestions-to-linotype-machinists-1914-1200rgb-005-cut-of-model-1-sf0.jpg

{ {MLC 1914}, p. 5.

So when we use the name "Square Base" we're using a clearly modern name to refer distinctively to a particular machine that had no special name at the time. When we use the name "Model 1" we're using a name that was officially adopted by the Mergenthaler Linotype Company during the production of a particular machine. In either case we speak unambiguously.

3. Use and Confusion in Well-Known Secondary Sources

Most of the references from the 1980s onward to a "Simplex" Linotype are in popular accounts of the history of type. These are clearly all just copying each other and can be dismissed. But there are a few books of greater authority which lend credibility to the idea that there was a "Simplex" machine. If you were writing a popular work today on the history of the Linotype, and you wished to research as far as authoritative secondary sources (but not actually do real research) you would cite Huss, Goble, Romano, or Kahan. Each says that there was a "Simplex" Linotype, although they do not agree about which Linotype it was.

Huss (1973):

Richard Huss' 1973 The Development of Printers' Mechanical Typesetting Methods: 1822-1925 remains the only comprehensive study of the subject. {Huss 1973}

Huss correctly identifies and illustrates the Square Base Linotype. (He dates it to 1889, which is close; it was in development in that year, but did not ship until 1890). It is No. 116 in his catalog.

But Huss, in his catalog entry no. 124, uses the name "Simplex" as the primary name for the Model 1. (He also dates it to 1890, two years before its actual introduction, but Mergenthaler himself says that a version of this machine was exhibited in 1890.) Huss calls this machine: "Simplex Linotype (Model 1)." Huss cites no source for his identification of this machine as the "Simplex," and of course the illustration that he shows, from { Scientifc American 1894} , does not call it that. (The caption in the photograph used in Huss, reproduced below, is by Huss; it does not appear in the original 1894 article in Scientific American.)

image link-to-huss-1973-0600rgb-model-1-linotype-as-simplex-sf0.jpg

Goble (1984):

The definitive scholarly study of the history of the Linotype remains George Corban Goble's 1984 doctoral dissertation, The Obituary of a Machine {Goble 1984}. Goble writes of the successor to the Square Base: "This was the Model 1, sometimes called the Simplex." Goble is usually meticulously well-documented, but in this case he cites no source for this information. The machine he illustrates in conjuntion with this is indeed the Model 1; he reprints the illustration from the 1894 article on it in Scientific American { Scientifc American 1894} .

Romano (1986):

Frank Romano, in his generally very good 1986 book Machine Writing and Typesetting, confuses the "Simplex," the Square Base and the Model 1 completely. First he illustrates a Square Base machine but provides the caption "The Simplex Linotype (1890) provided the pattern for all later linecasters" (on the fifth unnumbered page of plates following p. 74).

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Yet on the tenth page of plates, he illustrates a Square Base machine again but supplies the caption: "The 1890 Square Base Model 1 Linotype."

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Romano never actually illustrates a Model 1 Linotype. He provides no source for his use of the name "Simplex."

Kahan (2000):

Almost all books since Huss and Goble, while well intentioned, are simply copying Huss or Goble (or more commonly each other). One exception to this is Basil Kahan's extremely well researched biography Ottmar Mergenthaler {Kahan 2000}. This is the best biography of Mergenthaler yet written, and Kahan takes particular care to debunk several persistent Linotype myths.

Kahan uses the name "Simplex" as the basic name for the Model 1. In his section "The Simplex Linotype" in his chapter "The Linotype - A Technical Summary" he says:

"This ["The Simplex Linotype"] was the definitive model shown in the British Printer advertisement of figure 28. Although the Linotype was regularly enhanced during the hot metal era, all subsequent models conformed to the same basic design. The first model of this Linotype was built in February 1890 and displayed at the Judge Building in New York, but did not come into regular use before 1893 in the USA and 1895 in the United Kingdom.

"In time this machine became known as the Model 1, but the name can be misleading because the terms: Square Base, Simplex, and Model 1 are sometimes treated as synonymous. ..."

What Kahan says is correct in detail. The machine which became known as the Model 1 was shown, in prototype form, in Feb. 1890 in the Judge Building in NY. (We know this from Mergenthaler's (auto)biography {Mergenthaler 1989}, pp 56-57.) Kahan's date of 1893 for commercial use is plausible. (The Mergenthaler Linotype Company's 1971 salesman's book cited by {Goble 1984}, p. 431, gives a date of 1892. The serial number list (of unknown provenance) on gives a shipping date of August 1, 1892 for the first Model 1 (with s/n 579). But the first ad in The Inland Printer did not appear until February 1893). And Kahan is certainly correct that " the terms: Square Base, Simplex, and Model 1 are sometimes treated as synonymous"! The problem is that nowhere does Kahan present any evidence that this machine was ever called the "Simplex."

Here is Figure 28 from Kahan. It shows the English version of the Model 1 Linotype. The name "Simplex" does not appear.

image link-to-kahan-2000-0600rgb-fig028-model-1-linotype-as-simplex-sf0.jpg

4. No "Simplex Linotype" In America

So when was the first use of the term "Simplex Linotype" (to designate any machine)? One of the few advantages of the 21st century is that we now have the ability, thanks to Google Books and other digitization projects, to do reasonably comprehensive text search of historical literature. In such a search (done in 2013) I was unable to discover any use of the name "Simplex Linotype" in any American source prior to 1954. Ottmar Mergenthaler never applied this name to any machine. It appears in no Mergenthaler company literature. It appears in no trade journal. It appears in no advertisement (not even in classified ads). It appears in no third-party book (not even in comprehensive histories of composing machinery). The "Simplex Linotype" did not exist in America, ever.

(As an aside, I can discover only one reference to a "Simplex" Linotype in any English language source prior to 1954. In the classified advertisemnts of The British and Colonial Printer and Stationer in 1915 there appears an notice of the sale of a printing establishment. The contents mentioned include a "MODEL ONE SIMPLEX LINOTYPE". It is possible that this was a German machine. It is also possible that this ad was written by someone familiar with the German Linotypes who was mistakenly identifying an English Model 1 Linotype.)

5. The "Simplex" Linotype in Germany, By 1901

The history of the name "Simplex" begins in the German literature. What follows in the section here is pretty detailed - that's deliberate, as I'm simply trying to line up all of the data points. In summary:

The German licensee of the Linotype patents, "Mergenthaler Setzmaschinen-Fabrik GmbH, Berlin" was founded in 1896. I do not yet know if its first product was a derivative of the Square Base Linotype or of the Model 1, but a derivative of the Model 1 was in production by at least 1901. Later German Linotype production and engineering differed considerably from American practice.

The earliest occurance I have so far been able to discover of a "Simplex" Linotype occurs in a 1901 advertisement placed by this firm in the Archiv für Buchgewerbe {AfB 38.7 282}. It isn't actually an instance in which the company uses this name for its own machine. Rather, it is an ad which illustrates the German derivative of the Model 1 and also reprints a letter from a customer which reports positively on their 'Zweibuchstaben-Linotype-Setzmaschine ("Simplex")'. ("Zweibuchstaben" = "two-letter matrix").

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The image that this advertisement uses to illustrate the machine is the stock cut of a Model 1 Linotype that I presume was distributed by the Mergenthaler Linotype Company. It appeared frequently. Here it is from a later source, my 1918 copy of John S. Thompson's Mechanism of the Linotype. It is identical, down to the pattern of the floorboards.

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image link-to-thompson-mechanism-linotype-002-model-1-sf0.jpg

(The image above links to a PDF version of a JPEG conversion of this scan. Here is the original 1200dpi RGB PNG (26 Megabytes): thompson-mechanism-linotype-002-model-1-1200rgb-crop-3707x4598.png

So we know that by 1901 at least "Simplex" was an a name being applied in Germany to the derivative of the Model 1 Linotype manufactured in that country.

I have been able to discover only nine other references to a "Simplex" Linotype prior to 1954. All but one are in the German literature (the exception is in French). There are certainly more to be found; one difficulty is that much German literature in this period was printed in blackletter, and OCR software has a hard time with that. It is interesting that all but one (two if you include the 1901 item above) occur a decade or more after the German Model 1 must have ceased production.

All of these were found using Google Books, and for all of them only "snippet" views are available. My citations, therefore, will be necessarily brief. Translations, given in [square brackets], are via Google Translate. I am well aware that many of the translations are, to be polite, not idiomatic. Between the OCR and the machine translation, this is a terribly mangled view of the past, but it's better than nothing.

1900. This is a note of absence. Carl Herrmann's comprehensive Geschichte der Setzmaschine {Herrmann 1900}, which has an extensive section on the development of the Linotype and which specifically mentions Mergenthaler Setzmaschinen-Fabrik in Berlin, does not mention any "Simplex" Linotype.

1909. Klimsch's jahrbuch [Klimsch's yearbook] says "wahrend die bekannte Zwittermafch ine (Simplex Stile B Linotype), weldie [sic] von der Canadian-American-Linotype Corporation zu Toronto auf den Markt gebracht wurde" [ while the well-known hybrid machine (simplex styles B Linotype) weldie, was brought by the Canadian-American Linotyp e Corporation to Toronto on the market].

This early reference is notable for two additional things. First, it refers to the "Simplex Style B Linotype." (Two other sources will refer to a "Stil B" Simplex Linotype.) Second, it links this to the Canadian Linotype Company. I have been unable, however, to discover any Canadian Linotype "Simplex" or "Style/Model B"

1923. Die herstellung von büchern, illustrationen, akzidenzen u. s. w [The production of books, illustrations, commercial printing, &c], p. 54: "Das Tastbrett ist das gleiche wie bei der Simplex- Linotype. Der Wechsel bei einer Garnitur der Matrizen erfolgt durch einen Handgriff am Sammelelevator (s. Abs . 97). Der Wechsel zwischen den beiden Garnituren geschieht durch Betätigung ..." [The Tastbrett is the same as in the Simplex Linotype. The change in a set of mat rices is carried by a handle on the collecting Elevator (see paragraph 97). The change between the two sets is done by pressing ...] ("Tastbrett" means "keyboard")

1925. Höhne, Otto. Geschichte der Setzmaschinen [History of Composing Machines] (Leipzig: Bildungsverbandes der Deutschen Buchdrucker GmbH, 1925.)

It is not yet clear to me if this Otto Höhne is the WWI and WWII flying ace or some Otto Höhne. However, he was writing books on machine typesetting through at least 1936 ( Die Maschinensetzer-Fibel (Berlin, DE: Ulrich & Co., 1936)) and 1941 ( 1000 Technische Ratschläge für Linotypesetzer (Preussische Verlags- und Druckerei GmbH, 1941), reprinted in 1951 (Berlin: Verlag des Druckhauses Tempelhof, 1951)).

1928. Deutsch-amerikanische Buchdrucker-Zeitung [German-American Newspaper Printers'... ?], p. 355: "... die sich für jeden angehenden Maschinensetzer ergibt, wenn er zum ersten Male vor dem Tastbrett der Setzmaschine sitzt. ... Man betrachte nur einmal eine der altehrwürdigen Simplex-Linotypes — es sollen noch einige in Betrieb stehen ..." [which are prospective for each machine translator is when he sits for the first time before the keyboard the typesetting machine. ... One only look at one of the venerable Simplex Linotype - there are still some available in operating]

1932. Papyrus, Issue 13, p. 667: "Une entreprise allemande, Rudolf Sëbel, de Darmstadt, devait, sur l'instigation d'un consortium de Berne, lancer cette machine sur le marché sous le nom de 'Machine à composer de Darmstadt D. La Simplex Style "B" Linotype, ..." [A German company, Rudolf Sebel, Darmstadt, was, at the instigation of a consortium of Berne, run this machine on the market under the name 'machine consist of Darmstadt D. Simplex Style " B " Linotype]

I have been unable to discover anything further about Rudolf Sebel, Darmstadt or of any Darmstadt or Berne based Linotype company.

1934. Archiv für buchgewerbe und gebrauchsgraphik... [Archive for book trade and use graphic ...]: "Die Simplex-Linotype trat nun ihren Zug durch die Betriebe an und 1892 waren bereits 600 Maschinen in Betrieb; fünf Jahre später war die Zahl auf 7000 gestiegen . Im Jahre 1897 hielten die ersten Linotypes ihren Einzug in die deutschen ..." [The Simplex Linotype now began its train through the farms and 1892 were 600 machines already in operation, and five years later the number had risen to 7,000. In 1897, the first Linotype made their entry into the German ...]

This, along with the Typographische monatsblätter entry below, is the earliest instance of a source referring to the "Simplex" Linotype not as a specific German model but rather as an American model (of 1892, and thus the Model 1). So it would appear that the mistake of calling the Model 1 a "Simplex" dates to 1934, 32 years after its commercial introduction.

1934. Typographische monatsblätter: Typo, photo, graphik, druck [Typographical month leaves: Typo, photo, graphic, print] "... der Matrizen in Kanälen oder Röhren, den Gießapparat, die Gießformen, das Tastbrett und das Austreiben der Zeilen auf Formatbreite mittels Keile. ... Die Linotype, deren Name bei dieser Vorführung geprägt wurde, hatte Matrizenstangen mit mehreren Schriftbildern, die in ... 1890 verließ die heute unter dem Namen «Simplex Linotype» bekannte Maschine mit dem schrägliegenden Magazin und der ..." [the matrices in channels or tubes, the molding apparatus, the molds, the keyboard and the expulsion of the line width to size by means of wedges. ... The Linotype whose name was coined during this demonstration, matrix rods had multiple typefaces in the ... 1890 left today under the name "Simplex Linotype" machine known to the inclined magazine and the...]

This item, also from 1934, compounds the error of the Archiv für buchgewerbe item, above. It applies the name "Simplex Linotype" to a machine of 1890 (necessarily an American machine). I do not know whether they intended to reference the "Judge Building" demonstration machine shown in that year or the Square Base Linotype, but calling a machine of 1890 the "Simplex" is the start of the error of thinking of the Square Base (commercially introduced in 1890) was the "Simplex" Linotype.

6. The "Simplex Style B" Linotype

I write this section with some misgivings. There has certainly been no lack of misinformation on this topic, and I am loathe to add to this with idle speculation.

Yet it is interesting to note that several of the German sources prior to Mengel speak of the "Simplex" as the "Style B" Linotype:

If there was a "Style B" machine, there must have been a "Style A" before it. With a complicated machine such as the Linotype, it never hurts to claim that your new model is simpler than your old model. This further suggests that far from being the "Urmutter" of all Linotypes (as Mengel put it in 1954), the Simplex model was not even the first German Linotype.

On the other hand, only one of these references (Klimsch, 1909) is even close to the date of manufacture of this machine, so in the absence of any real evidence nothing should be made of this.

7. Willi Mengel's 1954 Commemoration of Mergenthaler

1954 was the centenary of Ottmar Mergenthaler's birth, and the German Linotype company (by then Linotype GmbH, Berlin and Frankfurt am Main) commemorated it by publishing Die Linotype Erreichte das Ziel by Willi Mengel. (This title translates to "The Linotype Reached the Target.") (91 pages, with a tipped-in color portrait of Ottmar Mergenthaler as a frontispiece and a tipped-in monochrome illustration of a modern four-magazine German Linotype just before the Contents at the end.) In the same year, an abridged translation of this book, with an additional introduction by Lin Yutang (a well-known Chinese scholar who took a special interest in mechanical typewriters). This was published by the Mergenthaler Linotype Company in Brooklyn as Ottmar Mergenthaler and the Printing Revolution. (63 pages, with the frontispiece of Mergenthaler but without the photograph of the German Linotype.)

Mengel's book was well-received. A favorable review of the American edition appeared in The Inland Printer in July of 1954 {IP 133.4 96}.

In the "Chronicle of the Linotype" in this book, Mengel refers twice to a "Simplex" Linotype. Quoting here from the American edition (p. 61):

"1889 Mergenthaler constructs his last and best machine, the Simplex in its final form.

"1890 The Simplex machine is exhibited in the Judge Building in New York City."

In the main text, he presents a drawing of a German version of a Model 1, along with the claim that this is the Simplex Linotype of 1890, the "first mother of all Linotype models which later developed" ("Sie is die Urmutter aller Linotype-Modelle, die später entstanden.")

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Here it is as it appeared in the American edition. The translation, while not exact, is idiomatic and not far from what Mengel said.

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This is the first appearance in English of a claim that Ottmar Mergenthaler built a "Simplex" Linotype. It appeared over half a century after his death.

As we have seen earlier, "Simplex" was an alternative name applied to the German version of the Model 1 Linotype at some point between 1896 (when the German company was formed) and 1901 (the earliest attestation I can findd). The "Simplex" Linotype is a derivative of the Model 1, not the Urmutter of all Linotypes.

The other error that Mengel makes has compounded the confusion. The Model 1 Linotype did not ship until 1892. In the 1890-1892 timeframe, the Square Base Linotype was shipping. By conflating the post-1896 German "Simplex" Linotype with (a) the 1889 prototypes of the Model 1 and (b) the prototype exhibited in 1890 in the Judge Building by Mergenthaler, Mengel set a trap. Later authors, seeing "1890" and knowing that the "Square Base" machine was shipping in 1890 have assumed that it was the "Simplex." (Though I admit that I cannot fathom how anyone came to think that the 1886 "Blower" Linotype was the "Simplex.")

8. Spreading Misinformation: 1954-1986

Mengel's book was popular, and the seed of error that he planted in it quickly grew.

The American edition of his book appeared by July of 1954 (when it was reviewed in The Inland Printer). By August of 1954 at the 96th Convention of the International Typographical Union (St. Paul, MN 14-20 Aug.) a resolution (No. 138) which was "A Tribute to Ottmar Mergenthaler" was passed. In part the text of this resolution claims "[whereas] On July 3, 1886, the Blower Linotype helped set the New York Tribune and after four years of development the Simplex Linotype was produced and regarded as a successful innovation in producing the printed word,..." {AFL 1954}.

In an instant, a nonexistent machine - the Simplex Linotype of 1890 - was enshrined in the official documents of the American printing establishment.

9. Conclusion

10. Red Herring 1: The Simplex Typesetter

In 1897 or 1898, the Thorne Typesetter, which had been in development since 1880 and in modest production since the late 1880s, was re-branded the "Simplex One-Man Typesetter." (It would be re-branded one more time after this, as the "Unitype.") See the Notebook on the Thorne/Simplex/Unitype for further information.

The Thorne/Simplex/Unitype was more successful than is now generally remembered, and it is not uncommon to find references in the literature to both machines in one article (for example, in articles comparing type machinery or summarizing imports and exports). The text "... Simplex, Linotype, ..." does appear, but this does not in fact indicate a "Simplex Linotype."

11. Red Herring 2: Simplex, Duplex, and Triplex Equipments

In doing text searches to research the origins of the name "Simplex Linotype," one does come across a use of "simplex" in conjunction with "Linotype" which is entirely unrelated to the naming of any machine. It's a use (and concept) which is a bit alien to the way the final few generations of Linotype operators and machinists were used to thinking about the machine, so it requires some clarification.

The magazines of the early Linotypes (up to the Model 4) were difficult to remove. The Mergenthaler company itself admitted that it took three to five minutes to change a magazine for the Models 1, 2 and 3, and two minutes for the Model 4. While shops did "keep on hand a number of magazines containing matrices of various faces ... to change one magazine for another as occasion may require" ( {ML 1908}, PDF 24) this was not the easy process it later became. It was not common then to have racks of magazines loaded up with particular matrix fonts, ready to be swapped quickly on to a machine.

This changed with the introduction of the "quick change" magazine of the Model 5 in 1906. In an advertising book and parts catalog issued along with the release of the Model 5 (and thus presumably dated to 1906, although the copy here is the 1908 reprint), the Mergenthaler Linotype Company made much of this capability. Click on the first image below for a PDF of this booklet, The Mergenthaler Linotype:

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image link-to-mergenthaler-1908-google-mich-The_Mergenthaler_linotype-sf0.jpg

( {ML 1908}. Digitized by Google from the University of Michigan copy.)

Here are two images from this booklet showing the ease with which magazines could be change. On the left is the Model 5, with a single magazine which could be changed in sixty seconds from the front of the machine. On the right is the Model 4, a two-magazine mixer. The top magazine was changed from the front of the machine, while the bottom magazine was changed from the back. You could even change the bottom magazine while assembling lines from the top. (I don't suppose you'd want to send, cast, and distribute a line with mats from the lower magazine while this was happening, though!)

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image link-to-mergenthaler-1908-google-mich-The_Mergenthaler_linotype-p026-model-5-quick-change-sf0.jpg image link-to-mergenthaler-1908-google-mich-The_Mergenthaler_linotype-p034-model-4-quick-change-sf0.jpg

For the first time, it made sense for a shop to buy many magazines and keep matrix fonts in them. Mergenthaler was happy to accomodate this by providing suitable equipment.

Say, for example, that you had a Model 5, which was a machine capable of mounting a single magazine at a time. If you purchased this machine with "simplex fittings," you'd get just one magazine. Since you'd have to run new mats into the magazine to change faces, they supplied only one set of mold liners and one ejector blade. (In the early machines, to change line length you had to manually change ejector blades. I've seen an experienced operator do this, and it can be done surprisingly quickly if you know what you are about.) The Model 5 mold disk had (then) two pockets for molds, but you only needed to buy a mold for one of them (you would run a blank mold, for balance, in the other). In 1908, this would cost $500, cash.

If on the other hand you desired "duplex fittings," you got a second magazine, another matrix font, and another set of mold liners (presumably your second matrix font might be a different body size, and thus require different mold liners). You could buy a second mold and set things up so that you could use one mold with your first magazine and the other with your second. (They gloss over the fact that if the molds were set up for different line lengths you'd have to do an ejector blade change each time you switched.) This ran $575, cash.

"Triplex equipment" would set you back $650.

They would also sell duplex and triplex fittings for the other models available at the time: the older Models 1, 2, 3, and 4, the Model 7 (a wide-measure Model 4) and the Model 6 (a wide-measure Model 5, and thus a "quick change" machine).

(It is also interesting to note that they would only sell the Linotype to "responsible persons." This is still a wise practice.)

Here is an extract, in PDF form, of the three pages from The Mergenthaler Linotype (1908) which discuss simplex, duplex, and triplex equipments/fittings for the Linotype.

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12. Notes and References

{AfB 1901} Archiv für Buchgewerbe. Band 38, Heft 7. (Leipzig: Verlag des Deutschen Buchgewerbenvereins, 1901): p. 282. This issue has been digitized by Google from the Princeton University copy of Band 38, part 2.

{Goble 1984} Goble, George Corban. The Obituary of a Machine: The Rise and Fall of Ottmar Mergenthaler's Linotype at U.S. Newspapers . Ph.D. Dissertation, Indiana University, 1984.

{Herrmann 1900} Herrmann, Carl. [sic, not Karl] Geschichte der Setzmaschine und Ihre Entwickelung Bis Auf die Heutige Zeit . Vienna: [by the author], 1900.

{Huss 1973} Huss, Richard E. The Development of Printers' Mechanical Typesetting Methods: 1822-1925 . Charlottesville, VA: Published for the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia by the University Press of Virginia, 1973.

{IP 133.4 96} The Inland Printer. Vol. 133, No. 4 (July 1954): 96.

At present I have deduced the existence of this review from Google Books snippet views. I don't yet have this particular number of this journal.

{AFL 1954} The reports of the 1954 convention of the International Typographical Union were published by the ITU and also reprinted in the Report of the Proceedings of the Annual Convention of the American Federation of Labor, Volume 73. 1954. I'm accessing both of these through Google Books snippet views; the snippets for the latter are more satisfactory.

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

{Mengel 1954 DE} Mengel, Willi. Die Linotype Erreichte das Ziel. Berlin and Frankfurt am Main: Linotype GmbH, 1954.

{Mengel 1954 US} Mengel, Willi. Ottmar Mergenthaler and the Printing Revolution. Brooklyn, NY: Mergenthaler Linotype Company, 1954.

{ML 1908} The Mergenthaler Linotype. NY: Mergenthaler Linotype Company, reprint of 1908.

Digitized by Google from the University of Michigan copy. See the PDF of this reprinted above .

{MLC 1914} Suggestions for Linotype Machinists. Brooklyn, NY: Mergenthaler Linotype Company, 1914.

{MPC 1890} The New Linotype. NY: Mergenthaler Printing Company, [n.d., but 1890 on internal evidence]

{Pearson 1936} Pearson, Frank. Ottmar Mergenthaler. [a "special historical number of"] The Business Printer. (July-August, 1935). Salt Lake City, UT: Porte Publishing Company, 1935.

{Romano 1986} Romano, Frank J. Machine Writing and Typesetting. Salem, NH: GAMA, 1986.

Romano's book is generally a good source, and is notable for its linkage of early Linotype development to early Scholes/Remington typewriter development (through the figures of Clephane and Dodge, who were involved with both). But it does contain a few errors. In addition to the confusion over the "Simplex," Romano was deceived by Henry Lewis Bullen and errs in his identification of Benton's pantographs. Neither pantograph he illustrates was by Benton. The one he shows on the left was not "the second machine built by Benton upon which punches for Mergenthaler were cut". It is an English Linotype & Machinery Ltd. pantograph by Barr; the identification of first, second, and third machines by Bullen is a fabrication, and Benton cut punches (briefly) for the Mergenthaler Printing Company, not for Ottmar Mergenthaler. The one he shows on the right is not a punch-cutting pantograph at all. It is an English Linotype & Machinery Ltd. pantograph by Barr for cutting working patterns.

{Spencer} Spencer, Leonard. "Linotype Models." This is a compendium of Linotype model information compiled by the Intertype Corporation in the 1940s. Online at

{ Scientific American 1894} "The 'Linotype.'" Scientific American. Vol. 70, No. 2 (Jan. 13, 1894): 17, 24.

{Thompson 1904} Thompson, John S. History of Composing Mchines. Chicago: The Inland Printer Company, 1904.