Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Type Tuesday - The Linotype Bulletin

The Mergenthaler Linotype Company was an early printing industry giant in the United States primarily due to its development and manufacturing of the first modern, functional linotype machine. Its publication, The Linotype Bulletin, was "devoted to the linotype and its users," offering articles on lay-out and design, samples of linotype work and announcements of newly acquired types by the Mergenthaler Linotype Company. The May-June issue from 1921 offered its customers a peek into the precision and care with which their individual matrices were selected. The "stock operative" seen below made selecitons from Merganthaler's 41,500 types and ensured precision with her micrometer gauges, guaranteeing customers the most accurate of print display. 

From the advertisement above:

Prompt supply for the 41,500 Linotypes in use in all parts of the world is assured by maintaining a stock of many millions of matrices ready to ship. The system of filling our daily orders from this stock is such that orders for a single matrix or for many thousands are met with equal precision. The stock operative shown in the illustration is comparing each individual matrix with the order, and she has at hand micrometer gauges and other means for final accurate examination. 

From the adverstisement above: 

The matrix factory has a capacity of over 225,000 matrices a day, but nevertheless the governing principle is not quantity production. The whole system is devised to assure individual attention to the individual matrix. Inspections and tests accompany each matrix through the successive stages of its manufacture, and it is again inspected and examined when it is taken from stock to fill orders. 

The Kemble Collection on Western Printing and Publishing at the California Historical Society holds a wide range of periodicals related to printing, publishing and graphic design, including many issues of The Linotype Bulletin from 1908 to 1930. 

Jaime Henderson

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