Use of the Linotype machine on Cunard ships for setting type

Use of the Linotype machine on Cunard ships for setting type

Postby Timothy Trower on Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:18 pm

(The Linotype is a machine used to set type for books, newspapers, magazines and other assorted printing. Invented in 1886, it was replaced during the 1960s and '70s by phototype and computerized typesetting systems.)

From The Linotype News, December 1930

25 Ships Now Operating Linotypes
Twenty U.S. Naval Vessels and Five Big Liners Now Producing Composition Linotype Way


Although travelers have seen Linotypes in action in every country under the sun, comparatively few globe trotters realize that not all Linotypes do their producing ashore -- that some two dozen of them -- twenty-five, to be exact -- are confirmed and experienced globe trotters themselves.

All seven of the seven seas, with several lesser bodies poured in for good measure, have been criss-crossed so many times and in so many places by ships equipped with Linotypes, that a gull's-eye view of those bodies, with the criss-crosses nicely indicated with dotted lines, would appear without benefit of water.

When, November 19, the Mauretania, speed queen of the great Cunard fleet, answered that call for help from the Swedish cargo steamer Ovidia, sinking in mid-Atlantic, and rescued twenty-eight people, a Linotype aboard the Mauretania was in action. Not that the Linotype played any part in the rescue, of course; but it was right there to compose the spot story of the Ovidia disaster for the ship's newspaper and passengers -- and for thousands of others, ashore, to read when the Mauretania docked in the Hudson. That ship's wireless, of course, released the first bulletins about the rescue, but its Linotype composed the detailed story.

All of which is a roundabout way of stating that the palatial Mauretania operates a Linotype. The machine produces composition for the ship's paper, for menus, various kinds of programs, passenger lists, and so forth.

The Aquitania and Berengaria, also, sister ships of the Mauretania, operate Linotypes back and forth across the Atlantic and on this and the other side. So does the Belgenland of the Red Star Line, which starts on another cruise round the world December 15, and so does the St. Louis of the Hamburg-American Line.

Uncle Sam, the most experienced and critical buyer in the world, goes in for Linotypes in a big way. In addition to the 171 Linotypes in the Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., [twenty U.S. Naval vessels are now producing composition the Linotype Way.] (This last line is drawn from the headline -- my copy of this story is incomplete at the end of the article.)
All the best,

Tim

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Re: Use of the Linotype machine on Cunard ships for setting

Postby Eric Longo on Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:40 am

"All of which is a roundabout way of stating that the palatial Mauretania operates a Linotype. The machine produces composition for the ship's paper, for menus, various kinds of programs, passenger lists, and so forth." - TT

Hi Tim,

I have a log abstract from old M with Turner in command that bears an ink message "this is a sample of what my friend prints aboard Mauretania" - it is a near item! :)

Best wishes,
Eric
Buy/sell photos/photocards/mail/memorabilia/scrap items Mauretania 07. I also provide image restoration. Examples in Maxtone-Graham's Normandie and Chirnside's Aquitania. Recently I completed work for the National Building Museum. magikbilly@yahoo.com
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Re: Use of the Linotype machine on Cunard ships for setting

Postby Timothy Trower on Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:50 am

Hmm . . . with Turner in command, this predates the use of the Linotype. However, I'd still love to see this piece -- what a nice connection to a crew member on board.
All the best,

Tim

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