Linotype Machine

A black and white photograph of the backside of a large linotype machine, revealing much of its mechanics, gears, and wires as they protrude from the machine.

Dublin Core


Linotype Machine


Linotype machines at The Washington Post used molten metal to create lines of text. The lead casting material, oblong bars known as “pigs,” are visible hanging on the side of the machine. Above these a half-melted “pig” hangs above a melting pot.


The linotype machine increased the speed with which newspapers could be printed. Unlike earlier printing forms, which used individual typeface blocks for each letter of text, linotype machines cast lines of type known as slugs. These would be stacked in a tray forming a galley or block of text. This form of printing, known as hot metal typesetting, molded molten metal to form the typeface slugs. Machinists would monitor the lead “pig,” replacing the casting material as needed as the linotype operator keyed in the text at the front of the machine.


Dick Moore


Dick Moore Collection




This Item has been made available for educational and research purposes by the Drs. John S. and Betty J. Schuchman Deaf Documentary Center at Gallaudet University. This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You may need to obtain permission for your intended use if your use is otherwise not permitted by the copyright and applicable related rights legislation. For specific information about the copyright and reproduction rights for this Item, please contact the Schuchman Deaf Documentary Center:


Still Image




Dick Moore, “Linotype Machine,” DeafPrinters, accessed May 19, 2024,

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