Thursday, 20 May 2010

Printing Museum

This post is dedicated to the Printing Museum we visited in Melbourne. Firstly, it was fantastic and if you're over there you must most definitely visit it. There were all sorts of presses for all sorts of people. I thought the star of the show had to be the Linotype machine. It was like a massive, sophisticated typewriter and musical instrument combined. I can't believe people were producing these over a hundred years ago. INSANE.

Linotype machine sorting letters after lead casting.

How it worked: the operator would type in a line of type. As soon as he put a letter into the keyboard there was a little "chink" as the machine released that letter and it slid down the letter slide into place. The machine then cast the line of type into lead which only takes a few seconds. Incredible! When the type is cast, the mold letters go onto a hanger of sorts that return the letters to the top where a tube winds and drops them off into their respective places. No manual sorting required! Video shows the sorting process. They would use these lines of type to compose the body text of a newspaper.

Ludd machine casting lead type for newspaper titles.

Ludd machine is another typecasting machine. This one is manual, as you have to compose the individual letters. It was mostly used for titles in newspapers because they could vary the size. The video shows the man taking my arranged letters in the bracket and putting it in. The molten lead is released and it only takes a few seconds to hear a thunk as my name comes out the tray.

Letter slide for want of a better term.

Typeface chart.

Linotype typeface cartridges. Just so you know, I'm not sure on that term either.

Linotype machine from the front.

Man arranging the type from the Linotype machine into the printing press.

Video shows man making the AGIdeas print of our names. It was so awesome.

Example of type arranged in press.

Retro boxes. I just liked how they looked.

They had loads of old typewriters. Even oriental typewriters!

Loose letters.

My name was made into lead type. I'll photograph them and post the pics another day. The museum was immensely useful and relevant to what I've learned at school. I understood what the gentlemen at the museum were talking about and how those old terms and conventions have relevance to type today.


Arthur said...

What a great post, looks like a great museum and the chart of type is so cool, can you buy them?
wall art

Oni said...

You might be able to buy those charts off Ebay if you're lucky...a lot of people really like that stuff too so there would probably be a bidding war or a really high buy now price.