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July 26, 2007

Lead type and Homeland Security

American Airlines finally found my luggage, and when I opened up my suitcase I realized why it had been “lost.” When I was in Melbourne, a gentleman from the Melbourne Printing Museum gave me a few pieces of lead type from their active Linotype machine, including the silver piece at the top of this photo:

And as we all remember from those dentist visits when we’re covered with a lead apron while being xrayed… lead repels xrays. I found one of those Homeland Security notices inside the suitcase, and all my stuff had been tossed around. The type pieces were still there, but this probably explains why the bag didn’t make my flight out of JFK. Interesting, eh?


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Greg Wasserstrom says

Jul 26, 2007

thank god homeland security is on top of things, gary. something horrible may have happened.

Andy Polaine says

Jul 27, 2007

"thank god homeland security is on top of things, gary. something horrible may have happened."

Yeah, Arial could have been installed on millions of computers by terrorists with no taste in typography. No, wait a minute...!

Art Prioletta says

Aug 03, 2007

It's reassuring to know homeland security personnel are doing their job!. And I'm glad you got your lead type pieces back, Gary.

James Yencken says

Aug 05, 2007

Isn't that from a Ludlow machine?

Gary says

Aug 07, 2007

They do have a Ludlow at the musuem, so it could be.

Otmar Hoefer says

Aug 08, 2007

Yes, this is a line casted on a Ludlow machine. I once used that machine during my hotmetal worktimes in the newspaper. You can see this on the picture that the matrices where placed on a separate mountframe which was twisted and then hold on top of the casting section from the Ludlow machine.
Also you can see that this line was undercasted. Some large letters hang over the line. This was typically for a Ludlow line. A Linotype machine could not do this.

Yours Otmar Hoefer

Gary says

Aug 09, 2007

Well that settles it... Otmar knows a thing or two about the Linotype!