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Machine Shop

Machine Shop

On close inspection, I see a McKinley political sign. So would that be just before the turn of the century? View full size.

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Linotypes, not Intertypes.

Sorry, these can't be Intertypes, as the first Intertypes weren't in production until 1917.

Both Linotypes (some models, some years) and Intertypes had the vertically mounted spring for the pot plunger, it wasn't until much later that Lintotype moved that spring into the column. The actuation was slightly different as ll, as you can see on my 1922 Intertype.

From here:

"Original pot plunger spring on Linotype Model I was positioned directly above plunger lever to exert a straight downward action. Intertype continued this method as the patent must have run out by 1912. The Intertype spring pressure is released by simply unscrewing a rod straight up. Linotype "improved" their machine by a system of levers to put this spring inside the column. This worked until a stronger spring was necessary to cast larger slugs and improve faces for reproduction proofs. I remember a time in Santa Rosa, California, when it was a three-man job to put that heavy spring back in place on a Model 8 Linotype."

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If you look at the man on the left, closest to the camera, just to left of his head is a shaft inside a large spring. This indicates the these machines were Intertypes a typesetting machine very similar and in someways superior to the Linotype. How do I know? I spent my apprenticeship operating linotypes, and later in Australia spent some time on Intertypes. The shaft was attached to a plunger that pumped molten typemetal that cast the lines of type or slugs.That machine room would have been very noisy!

Thomas Reed

I was curious why this shop displayed both primary candidates, which led me to wikipedia. But I was soon distracted on the political story when I saw this about Thomas Reed...

He was known for his acerbic wit (asked if his party might nominate him for President, he noted "They could do worse, and they probably will"; asked if he would attend the funeral of a political opponent, his response was "no — but I approve of it"). On another occasion, when a fellow congressmen declared that he would "rather be right than the president," Reed coolly replied that the congressman needn't worry, since he would never be either. His size -- over 6 feet in height and weight over 300 pounds -- was also a distinguishing factor. Reed was a member of the social circle that included intellectuals and politicians Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge, Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Adams, John Hay and Mark Twain.

Interesting and funny man with some notable acquaintances.

[Reed and McKinley weren't "primary candidates" -- state presidential preference primaries didn't exist in 1896. The two were contenders for the Republican nomination at the party's national convention. - Dave]


In the 1950s my Uncle George Percy Gaskill of Barnegat, New Jersey, was the plant manager for Sleeper Publications in Mount Holly. I visited several times to observe his operation of the Linotype there. It was used to cast molten lead into "slugs," one for each line of type ("linotype")in a newspaper column. I have a couple of inserts that he made for me with my name.


The 45-star flag became official 4 July 1896. Thomas Reed also ran for President in 1896 (losing the nomination to McKinley). The 1896 Republican convention was in June, I would guess flag makers (and the linotype shop) got an early jump on the new flags.

[The flag in the photo has 44 stars, not 45. - Dave]

"Machine shop"

These are linotype operators in a newspaper pressroom.

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