trademark \ˈlī-nə-ˌtīp\

Definition of LINOTYPE

—used for a typesetting machine that produces each line of type in the form of a solid metal slug


   (Concise Encyclopedia)

Trademark name for a typesetting machine by which characters are cast in type metal as a complete line, rather than as individual characters (as on the Monotype typesetting machine). It was patented in 1884 by Ottmar Mergenthaler. It has now been almost entirely supplanted by photocomposition. In Linotype, a keyboard is manipulated to compose each line of text. The slugs produced by the machine are rectangular solids of type metal (an alloy of lead, antimony, and tin) with raised characters that are a mirror image of the desired printed line. After hot-metal casting, the slug of type, air-cooled briefly, is placed in a “stick” for insertion in the proper position into the press form being made up. See also letterpress printing, printing.


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