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13626Re: [PPLetterpress] I am writing a new syllabus, help please

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  • Silber MaiKätzchen
    Nov 17, 2013
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      I did newspaper work in the 60's too. We used what was called "Hot Metal Paste-Up."

      We would make shell casts, .168" thick stereos, which we would cut the parts of the
      plates away that we needed for the customer's ads and cast Ludlow slugs of the copy
      that the customer wanted in his ad. We would cut the feet from the Ludlow face to
      get a .168" high piece of type.  

      Where text was needed, it was set on a Linotype then type for several ads were put
      in a single chase then a mat was rolled and also shell cast.

      We would cover a .750" base with an adhesive spray and assemble the ad on the base 
      according to the mark-up. Then the ads would be stereotyped and added to the page

      We were a larger shop, with a circulation of 65,000, we had 38 Linos on the floor
      with four Ludlows, we had 65 faces and sizes available in body and display mats
      for the Linos, and 150 sizes and faces of Ludlow fonts. When we got a Photo-
      Typositor  I was moved from ad copy on a 36 to the Typositor and I was allowed
      to order $ 200.00 in new fonts each month. The salesmen and artists had no respect
      for budgets  and in less then five years later we had 800+ Typositor fonts. The prints
      from the PhotoTypositor would be engraved into magnesium plates and used for

      In the early seventies four Intertype 1200 photo setters appeared at the paper, and
      that was the death knell of hot metal within five years.

      Dum loquimur, fugerit invida Aetas:
      Carpe diem!
      quam minimum credula postero!

      Odes Book I

      On Nov 17, 2013, at 11:26 AM, "Fritz Klinke" <nagraph@...> wrote:

      Mark-up as I knew and worked it in the early 1960s was while working as the managing editor of my college newspaper, the Carnegie Tartan. We were hot metal and all letterpress. Our paper was printed by the Western Newspaper Union in downtown Pittsburgh and we were limited to what ever type faces they had on the line casting machines. They had one Ludlow as I recall as well as 7 or 8 linotypes. We were furnished a "Type Specimen" sheet showing all the text and display faces. Setting the text and headlines followed the same basic format every issue, and we all knew how to write up single column heads vs 2 column ones, etc.
      Most of our ads came in as plates, either electrotypes, plastic shell casts, or as stereotype mats. These were already made up and came from various ad agencies. Local ads were turned over to the composing room foreman who then "marked them up," indicating to the machine operators the point size, type face and length of line to be set. He had to work with what was available as mats for the machines on the floor. There wasn't a huge selection and the faces they had were pretty much run-of-the-mill stuff. We once had an advertiser who insisted on his store name being set in Old English, and WNU didn't have that in any point size. So I set a line of 24 pt type from the shop at school and though I wasn't union, they agreed to put it in the ad. The foreman said "this crap won't work, it's Monotype." And sure enough, the intense pressure of the stereotype mat rolling press crushed that type and it barely printed in the paper.
      For commercial plants, the composing room foreman was usually the one who marked up work where there were no type specifications. Even in letterpress, work was brought in that was already set in a trade typesetting plant, in the form of plates, or specified such that type had to be purchased. The place I worked in San Francisco was 2 blocks from M&H type, and once in a while, they would set type for our use, in particular where we didn't have a certain face or point size. We had a school catalog once where all the heads had to be set in Craw Clarendon, which we didn't have, so new fonts were purchased from M&H just for that one job. You'd of thought it was the end of the world, in 1967, to have to lay in new type in a well established composing room.
      A photo of the specimen sheet we used in college, along with me working on the paper, Is on flickr at:

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