First Linotype hot metal font

fonthausen's picture

Hi guys,

I was wondering, if someone knows what the first hot metal font was for the linotype casting machine ?

Mark Simonson's picture

Old Style No. 1 was one of the first. I don't know what the very first was.

dezcom's picture

Do you think that they just released them one at a time? I might guess that they released sets so that they could market a range to printers. Marketing was slower and more expensive then (in relative currency) so I would imagine producing a specimen book and other sales materials with enough faces to make the typesetter customer feel justified in purchasing the system and machinery.

ChrisL

Norbert Florendo's picture

An interesting historic question that never occured to me... the first typeface adapted for the earliest Linotype typesetter. Not even the Linotype History page on their site has a reference on it (that I could find).

Some simple clues will probably lead us there:

  • Whitelaw Reid of the New York Tribune was one of the key financial backers of Ottmar Mergenthaler.
  • At an exhibition in Washington, D.C. in 1885, Mergenthaler was offered $300,000 for the rights to his prototype machine. For this sum, a group of publishers headed by Whiteclaw Reid bought controlling interest in the National Typographic Company which later was renamed the Mergenthaler Linotype Company.
  • A more or less usable model was presented to the New York Tribune on July 3, 1886.

A type detective would need to do the following:
- Find out what metal fonts were used by the New York Tribune/Times just prior to July 1886.
- Find out the actually date of publication of the first commercial use of Mergenthaler's Blower which it was called just prior to being called a Linotype machine. (The assumption is that the New York Tribune/Times was the first use, but that needs more research.)


On a quick search, The New York Times, July 1881, was the closet paper I found prior to July 1886.

Key questions -- what would you consider the FIRST LINOTYPE typeface?
- The earliest attempts while developing the prototype of the Blower?
- The first typeface that could be set when the name Linotype was first used?
- The first commercially available type matrice for the Linotype?

CLUE -- It was Colonel Mustard, with the candlestick, in the Pantry.

dezcom's picture

Thanks Agatha :-)

ChrisL

fonthausen's picture

Thanks for your reactions. Being sick, I havent been able to react earlier.

Like Norbert, I couldnt find it either.

Key questions — what would you consider the FIRST LINOTYPE typeface?
- The earliest attempts while developing the prototype of the Blower?
- The first typeface that could be set when the name Linotype was first used?
- The first commercially available type matrice for the Linotype?

I was more thinking of the first type specially made for this particular casting system. I am not speaking of typeface modificated to fit.

Gr,
fonthausen

jim_rimmer's picture

I have one of the floppy Linotype books. Since it's a screw post book that 16 page supplelemnts are added to it may not have everything Linotype produced for the linecaster.

The oldest one they show is Antique No. 1, which may be the same face that mark has mentioned.

Jim

Mark Simonson's picture

That's where I got the information, too. I have one of those sets of bound sample books.

fonthausen's picture

Well, that's one thing missing in my library ;-(

The only thing I've got complete from Linotype is the Linotype collection of Mergenthaler Type Library of 1987 (you know, those huge plastic boxes with a zillion sheets of samples)

Would it be possible for you to make a scan ?

Jacques

jim_rimmer's picture

There is one very nice Linotype book that I am aware of: the hard-bound brown civer one done in the 20's (I think). This is a lovely piece of work, showing the faces in classical layour and colors, printing on a good weight bookstock. I had a cop once which I lent to someone, and that's the last I ever saw of it. This is really something worth having for the Linotype enthusiast, at least the person I lent mine to thought so.

Jim

jim_rimmer's picture

If you type in Google:

Manual of Linotype Typography|Typographica you will find a list of about a half dozen of the deluxe Linotype speciman books I mentioned previously in this thread. I don't know if they are all sold, but the price is reasonable. I got it wrong; the date was the late 30's.

Jim

fonthausen's picture

Thanks Jim. I'll have a look.

As it turns out, Stempel made a lot of the first typefaces for the Linotype. I just can't find any information about the first 'real' Linotype typeface, in others words: which typeface was the first inhouse design ?

Gr,
Jacques

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