LINOTYPE

Just behind the hand press is a 1922 Model 8 Linotype used here at the Banks County Journal. Originally, the Linotype was located in a small room to the side of the building, but that room collapsed in the 1990s. The Linotype was salvaged, however, and later cleaned and painted.

The invention of the Linotype in the late 1800s was one of the industrial age’s most important inventions. It automated the very labor and time-consuming task of setting type by hand, although some very small newspapers like the Banks County Journal waited decades before buying a Linotype.

Essentially, the Linotype distributes small brass letters on what was called a “matrix.” These would feed down from the top of the machine into a line as the operator typed. Once the right line length was filled, the operator would raise the line of matrix into the machine where hot molten lead would be squirted against the letters.

That would form a complete line of words, or “line of type,” hence the name Linotype.

After the line of type was cast, the machine would then lift the row of matrixes back to the top of the machine where they would be distributed back into their slots ready the be used again.

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This machine is not in operational condition, having suffered from deep rust during the years it was not in use.

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This is the Linotype in its original location in a side room off the main building. The room collapsed in the early 1990s and the Linotype was put in a warehouse until 2011.