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The gallerys at the Museum of Printing contains an elaborate timeline history of the manufacturing of letters. Visitors are walked through the foundry era, which reaches back 500 years. A guide explains the transition to mechanized hot-metal typesetting. The tour includes explanations of Linotype, Monotype and Ludlow linecasting machines. Along the tour route the next exhibit features a Monophoto and an Intertype Photosetter, machines which attempted to use linecasting technology to transition to phototypesetting, only to fail in competition with the electronically-driven phototypesetters. The display includes strike-on typesetters, machines designed to produce inexpensive type which could be married to the expanding offset printing market. The story line then drifts to phototypesetters, where Massachusetts hi-tech companies played a dominant role. The last chapter of this type story is digital. This story is told in a room paneled with bright digital prints output on a modern large format printer.
The Museum of Printing has the largest collection of printing history. There are more phototypesetters than any other location, plus collections that are unrivaled — like the entire set of drawings for every Mergenthaler Linotype Company hot metal typeface and the 100,000+ piece Frey Collection of ephemera from a century ago.
800 Massachusetts Avenue, North Andover, MA 01845