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Here's the trailer for "Linotype: The Film"
My, but that is cute. Of course, though, I find it hard to relate. I can imagine people falling in love with a Monotype machine, but Linotype is just too limited!
And, of course, a Monotype caster is big and bulky and pretty indulgent too. And the fumes!
But if only the Selectric Composer had been just a bit more versatile. The Electronic Composer started in the right direction - you could tell it to use a different unit system for a Copperplate Gothic element or a Cyrillic element - but with a daisywheel instead of a typeball, and just a bit more versatility (the tabs were at 1/6 of an inch intervals, so they could have had an extra set of intermediate unit sizes - in addition to 1/72", 1/84" and 1/96", they could have had 1/78" and 1/90")... they could have had a machine just about as flexible as a Monotype caster.
While the Selectric Composer's widest characters were 9 units in width, the fit of characters wasn't as crude as that might imply. The widest letters, like M, were not as wide as they should have been in proportion to others, so most letters were assigned the widths that would have been appropriate in a system of 11 units to the em. A daisywheel element could have allowed avoiding that compromise. Just as no one is bothered by the 18-unit quantization of Monotype, I think that the Selectric Composer was good enough in this respect.
Sadly, that's a toy that never existed, and thus one no one can collect. But our laser printers can do more in any event. (I pine for what it could have been on my web site here.