Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 142,971 pages of information and 229,026 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Linotype Co

From Graces Guide

Jump to: navigation, search
Linotype 78.
Linotype 78. Exhibit at Amberley Working Museum.

1889 The Linotype Co was formed by the publisher Joseph Lawrence, founder of the Railway Magazine. [1]

Lawrence first saw linotype printing in action on a visit to the United States. The linotype machine had been developed by the German watchmaker Ottmar Mergenthaler. It helped to solve a problem for stenographers - how to produce good copy that could be read easily from shorthand notes. Most methods were slow and expensive. Mergenthaler is usually credited with solving the stenographers' problem. The new machine cut down on labour and saved space. It was also much faster than other machines and thus enabled newspapers and periodicals to increase production.

In 1889, Lawrence and Stilson Hutchins, a representative of the American manufacturer, the Mergenthaler Linotype Company, brought three experimental machines to England. These caused great interest amongst the printing and newspaper industries.

1894 Antwerp Exhibition. Awarded Diploma of Honour for Machinery and Machine Tools. [2]

1895 Lawrence became chairman of the Linotype Co and remained as such until his death in 1919.

The company acquired property in Hulme Street, Oxford Road, Manchester, and began to make its own machines. Manchester had an abundance of skilled labour and had good rail and canal networks for transporting raw materials, such as iron and coal, and for distribution of the completed machinery.

1899 As the company became more successful, the Hulme Street factory became crowded. Linotype purchased land at Broadheath, Altrincham for a new factory, which was formally opened by Lady Kelvin in 1899.

In 1903, the company became known as the Linotype and Machinery Co (commonly shortened to L and M) when it amalgamated with the Machinery Trust.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Museum of Science and Industry
  2. The Engineer of 2nd November 1894 p387