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Kickstarter alert! Save one of Europe's last functional Linotype and restart a letterpress printed evolution

V

ery honestly, even after some successfully completed impossible missions, saving this giant Linotype machine is not at all a piece of creamy cake. Especially because the mission is NOT to just save it from scrap and bring it into a museum or showroom. NO, the essentially important part of our adventure is to RELOCATE this unique and super rare piece of technology to our new workshop and RESTART it with next generation operators. Developing a whole portfolio of new products which would be impossible to produce without it" notes Florian "Doc" Kaps from Vienna, Austria, of the Kickstarter project to crowdfund ASAP.

A man who since his early childhood specialized in "running towards the opposite direction", Doc reacted by founding The Impossible Project in 2008. Rescuing the last Polaroid factory in the Netherlands and bringing back iconic Polaroid photographs to the world.

"TODAY, the iconic Linotype is the ULTIMATE MACHINE to produce and print text in an all analog way." 

Since the opening of his new dream company Supersense in 2014, Doc enlarged his mission of preventing the demise of carefully selected analog technologies by re-connecting them with the potential of new customers and products and globally building new awareness and markets. Together with a team of analog believers, lovers, mavericks, souls, crafters and the Kickstarter supporters, Doc is ready to save a Linotype from oblivion.

Together with Willy Kolleger and several professional partners Doc developed a "clever masterplan to protect and caress every single part and detail so as the beautiful old lady will not at all be offended"

"We do believe that exactly this all analog way enables us to manufacture one-of-a-kind products, with a very special feel that we love to describe as 'magic'".

"Linotype was the first letter-assembling machine in history that made it possible to print text without the complicated and time-consuming process of arranging each and every word by hand. TODAY, the iconic Linotype is the ULTIMATE MACHINE to produce and print text in an all analog way. We do believe that exactly this all analog way enables us to manufacture one-of-a-kind products, with a very special feel that we love to describe as 'magic'. Not everybody can feel this yet, but more and more people all around the world re-discover this aspect in our increasingly digital world. Therefore we started to develop a whole series of magic products that can only be produced by using the wonderful Linotyope machine of Mr. Kolleger" notes Doc.

All about Linotype

"Thomas Edison called the Linotype machine the "Eighth Wonder of the World". Developed by the US American inventor Ottmar Mergenthaler in 1884, the Linotype revolutionized typesetting, especially newspaper publishing - making it possible for a relatively small number of operators to set type for many pages on a daily basis.

Before the Linotype, daily newspapers were limited to eight pages.

The name of the machine comes from the fact that it produces an entire line of metal type at once - a "line-o'-type". This was a significant improvement over the previous industry standard, i.e., manual, letter-by-letter typesetting using a composing stick and drawers of letters.

"Before the Linotype, daily newspapers were limited to eight pages."

The machine assembles matrices, which are molds for the letter forms, in a line. The assembled line is then cast as a single piece, called a slug, of type metal in a process known as hot metal typesetting. The matrices are then returned to the type magazine from which they came, to be reused later.

This allows much faster typesetting and composition than original assembling by hand in which operators place down one pre-cast glyph (metal letter, punctuation mark or space) at a time.

Although these machines were revolutionary, technology began to supersede the Linotype and they were scrapped and melted-down by the thousands. Today, very few machines are still in existence.

The highly-skilled operators of the Linotype struggle against time - if their skills are not passed along to a new generation of operators, the machine will die completely" notes Doc.

So this is officially Typeroom's official Kickstarter alert. After Polaroid, a Linotype Dinosaur needs to be saved from extinction and united we can make it happen.

Enter the mission here.

Images: Kickstarter / The Magic of Linotype: Save and Restart a Printing Legend