We hold firm that people will always want to smell the ink, feel the paper, turn the page. However, it’s not often that Print as a medium garners praise and attention these days as our communications channels become all the more digital. Here’s one joyous example.
The Linotype was the first printing press, an invention so remarkable that Thomas Edison himself called it the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” Where printed pages were previously typeset one letter at a time, by hand, the Linotype (or Line o’ Type) could automatically cast an entire line in one go, producing printable type six times as fast as the traditional manual method. It’s no wonder that the printing of books and newspapers snowballed and resulted in dramatic changes to journalism, impacts on society, and a rise in literacy too.
Eight Wonder, indeed – the Linotype’s impact is celebrated in Doug Wilson’s emotive and insightful documentary of its history, the people who made it happen, and how it helped change the world, quite literally. Watch the trailer of ‘Linotype: The Film’ here:
Once you get ink and type metal in your blood, it never comes out.
And what of the Linotype these days? An indispensable part of the printing process in the early 20th century supporting an industry of highly skilled operators, by the 1970s they were being scrapped in favour of newer photo typesetting technology. A rare few machines exist today, an even rarer few remain in operation.