“Chug, chug, chug” went the motor
“Bump, bump, bump” rang the lead
“Thump, thump, thump” went the matrices
When it molded, I could see the type fed
“Buzz, buzz, buzz” went the buzzer
“Plop, plop, plop” went the gears
“Stop, stop, stop” went the typesetters
The moment the chapel meeting nears.
The romance of Linotype was filled ups and downs, thumps and plops. Linotype was the crazy Victorian machine that somehow overcame its industrial age-Rube Goldberg clunkiness and was the fact of typesetting life for decades before phototype emerged.
On Friday February 3, Douglas Wilson’s new film, Linotype: In Search of the Eighth Wonder of the World will premiere at the SVA Theatre – 333 West 23rd St and 8th Avenue.
Linotype was called the “Eighth Wonder of the World” by Thomas Edison, it revolutionized printing, communication and society. The film tells the surprisingly emotional story of the people connected to the Linotype and how it impacted the world. Because of advances in technology, most Linotypes were scrapped and melted-down by the thousands. Today, very few machines are still in existence. Interviewed for the film are:
Frank Romano – preeminent Linotype historian
Bill Boarman – Head Printer of the United States
Carol Knopes – former editor at USA Today
Otmar Hoefer – director of typography at Linotype Germany
Carl Schlesinger – former New York Times Linotype operator
Nadine Chahine – type designer & Arabic specialist at Linotype
The illustrations here are from The Linotype News, one of many publications issued by Linotype to keep its customers and fans abreast of the hot metal.