Linotype machine  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Linotype machine is a "line casting" machine used in printing. The Linotype machine operator enters text on a 90-character keyboard. The machine assembles "matrices", which are molds for the letter forms, into a line. The assembled line is then cast as a single piece, called a "slug", of type metal. The matrices are then returned to the type magazine from which they came.

The name of the machine comes from the fact that it produces an entire line of metal type at once - hence a 'line o' type'. This allows much faster typesetting and composition than the original hand composition developed by Gutenberg, in which operators place down one pre-cast metal letter, punctuation mark or space at a time. The machine revolutionized newspaper publishing, making it possible for a relatively small number of operators to set type for many pages on a daily basis.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Linotype machine" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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