The Museum is representative of the processes used to create weekly newspapers from the 1800’s thru as late as the 1980’s. Shown here is a Model 31 Linotype invented by Ottmar Mergenthaler in the 1800’s. This machine consists of over 36,000 pieces working together in order to efficiently create a “ line of type “in a molten metal process. Yep, hard to comprehend!
Inventor Thomas Edison called the Linotype “the Eighth Wonder of the World”. And, you may remember that fella called Mark Twain? Well, old Samuel Clemens went bankrupt after investing his money in a company that was competing with Mergenthaler to create an automated typesetter. They built two prototype machines but their model didn’t catch on.
And in case you are wondering, our machine still works ! Of course, this is only part of its story, the rest you have to see to believe when it runs. We also have all of the other workable equipment, such as stones, galleys; Ludlow machine, turtles, typecasts, and presses used to produce a weekly newspaper.
In addition, some of this equipment can be used for hands-on demonstration of the letterpress printing process.
Check back for the next scheduled demonstration. And by the way, just what is “etaoin”
Care to set your name in “type” and print it ? This is the place !