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Linotype: The Film (2012)

Not Rated | | Documentary, History, News | 3 February 2012 (USA)
2:25 | Trailer
Linotype: The Film is a feature-length documentary centered around the Linotype typecasting machine. Called the 'Eighth Wonder of the World' by Thomas Edison, it revolutionized printing and... See full summary »


Douglas Wilson


Elln Hagney





Credited cast:
Elln Hagney Elln Hagney ... Herself


Linotype: The Film is a feature-length documentary centered around the Linotype typecasting machine. Called the 'Eighth Wonder of the World' by Thomas Edison, it revolutionized printing and society. The film tells the surprisingly emotional story of the people connected to the Linotype and how it impacted the world. Written by Anonymous

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Not Rated

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Release Date:

3 February 2012 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


Linotype operator Tim Trower was filmed wearing a gray t-shirt, turned inside out. He was asked by the director to reverse the shirt so that lettering on the front would not be visible to the film audience. See more »

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User Reviews

How Parts of the Future Were Created
14 September 2015 | by Siebert_TensevenSee all my reviews

This film is a great introduction to a very complicated machine called the Linotype, which was used for typesetting from the late 19th century to the 1960s and 70s. It is most informative and by the end of the film, you have a very good idea of how the machine works.

What is even more fascinating is how the Linotype changed the history of communication. Because of the invention of this machine literacy rates climbed, simply because there was more to read and it was less expensive than it had been in the past.

The history is covered on many levels by former Linotype operators and their descriptions of the working conditions, the unique stories, and the sorrow they felt when the machine was replaced by more modern methods. Intertwined in the film are some of the remaining operators that still use fully functional machines.

As an aside, I would like to note that I encountered a Linotype during my first job out of college, at a typesetting shop in 1981. The machine was being kept because the company was finishing up a dictionary and it was the only way they could match the font. When the people in this film mention that it was a beast they are not kidding!

The sound it made was incredibly loud and the moving parts resembled some kind of weird kinetic sculpture you might see at Burning Man. I never quite understood how the machine worked because I was terrified to get near it, but this film has given me a good understanding of this fascinating, history changing machine.

This is truly a excellent film that covers many aspects of the Linotype machine and presents some very interesting characters in the process, most of whom are quite charming in their individual ways. Definitely worth a look whether you have an interest in printing or not.

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