Typography is a topic of almost endless fascination to many of us who love words and work hard to craft our messages. Though our message is unchanging, during my lifetime the methods for communicating this message have changed dramatically. One part of the history of type has recently been made into a movie and one of the ECC readers sent me this fantastic movie trailer about Linotype machines, which were extraordinary for their time in how they were able to cast an entire line of type rather than a typesetter having to assemble them letter by letter.
Take a minute to enjoy it. The brief material and link below the movie tell you more about it.
More about the film from the website:
Linotype: The Film is a feature-length documentary centered around the Linotype type casting machine. Called the "Eighth Wonder of the World" by Thomas Edison, it revolutionized printing and society. The film tells the charming and emotional story of the people connected to the Linotype and how it impacted the world.
The Linotype (pronounced "line-o-type") completely transformed the communication of information similarly to how the internet is now changing communication again.
Although these machines were revolutionary, technology began to supersede the Linotype and they were scrapped and melted-down by the thousands. Today, very few machines are still in existence.
The highly-skilled operators of the Linotype are in a battle against time. If their skills are not passed along to a new generation of operators, the machine will die completely. There is a small group of former operators that want to save the Linotype from the scrap yard, but some see this as a fruitless endeavor.
What place does the Linotype have in the age of new technology? Should the machine be shoved into a museum and left to rust? Why should anyone care about typography or the technology of communication? The film seeks to answer these questions.
For more about the film, go to: http://www.linotypefilm.com/
Yvon, thank you for posting this! My dad (who would have been 102 this year) was a Linotype operator all his working life. Maybe that’s why a love of printed (or digital) publishing is in my blood. It was a real kick to watch this, having see it in person many times throughout my childhood.
Thank you again!
Yvon Prehn says
Wow! that is so neat! I never saw one in person–the print shop I worked near (at Young Life where I was senior editor–it was down the hall from me) I think their oldest press was a letter press and they had some of the newer (at that time) compugraphic typesetters–but we still had to specify type–oh how I suffered with that!
this film looks great, i just tried to add it to my netflix queue but they don’t have it yet! it’s amazing how technology moves so quickly and machines like this are outdated, and it’s only getting worse. look at blackberries, they were the phone to have a couple years ago, and now they’re considered obsolete almost. it’s good to see people hanging on to craft’s like this and passing down their skills. film cameras are soon to be in this same category.
Yvon Prehn says
Yes, it is amazing how quickly things change and that’s why we always need to concentrate on our message, not just the tools we use to send it–as I have often said, at one point in my life I was sure technology would never get better than the self-correcting typewriter….