Linotype: The Film

A trailer for those who appreciate moving images of complex, obsolete machines doing their thing. Linotype: The Film is a look at the Linotype printing machine. Invented by Ottmar Mergenthaler it revolutionized typesetting upon it’s arrival in 1886, allowing for a much smaller number of workers to set type. Calling to mind an enormous typewriter, its inner-working are best left to Wikipedia:

The Linotype machine operator enters text on a 90-character keyboard. The machine assembles matrices, which are molds for the letter forms, to a line. The assembled line is then cast as a single piece, called a slug, of type metal in a process known as “hot metal” typesetting. The matrices are then returned to the type magazine from which they came. This allows much faster typesetting and composition than original hand composition in which operators place down one pre-cast metal letter, punctuation mark or space at a time. – 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.

Directed by Douglas Wilson, the trailer for Linotype features some top-notch machine porn, shot by Brandon Goodwin with some excellent sound by Jess Heugel as well as looking at the people who adore these mechanical relics. Just my kind of movie.

Update: Wilson has set up a Kickstarter to help fund the project. If you enjoyed the trailer you can donate a couple of dollars to help get this bad boy made and get some cool swag in return.


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