Seeking linotype service

I am a letterpress printer and instructor in Sacramento. I am looking for someone who has a working linotype operation in northern California, preferably in the Sacramento area. Or, if someone has one that my students could just observe, even if it’s not operational.

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Barry—I do not, unfortunately, know of any operating line casters in the Sacramento area, but if anyone of your acquaintance is determined to either see a machine in operation, or is thinking about acquiring one, I can recommend attending “Linotype University” in Denmark, Iowa, the next session of which is scheduled for late September. This week-long introduction (or, in my case, re-introduction) to line casters is conducted through the generosity of Larry and Mary Raid. Larry owns and displays 50 or more Linotypes, Intertypes and Ludlows as well as having three fully operational Model 31s in the workshop available to attendees. Best of all, the course is conducted “free of charge,” although attendees must pay their own transportation and lodging costs. If you are interested, simply do a Google search for “Linotype University.” That site will more fully explain the above. Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any other help. Regards, Bill Powers, Tucson, AZ

Contact Joe Halton in Colfax, just up highway 80 from you. I believe he’s in the Briar Press Yellow Pages.

Joe runs a Linotype that he bought new, is an expert operator, and would probably be happy to talk to your students and demo it.

I assume Barry Dapeer has long since had the question he posted in August, 2010 about Linotype answered (see earlier postings above). One of those who gave him some advice and direction was Dave Robison who suggested Barry contact Joe Halton in Colfax, CA. I now own and have set up in my shop here in Tucson the very Model 5 Linotype that Joe operated and owned most of the time since it was shipped out of the Mergenthaler Linotype factory in 1957. Joe put the machine up for sale on EBay and we worked out a deal in which he actually loaded up and transported it all the way down here to Tucson. Not only that, even after that long hot ride, he was quite keen to make sure the machine was properly set up. Fortunately, my son Brian is an experienced fork-lift driver and was able to come out from California to help out. Between the two of them the Model 5 was off-loaded and set up without a hitch using a locally rented fork-lift. As mentioned, it is a Model 5, four-mold, single magazine machine featuring many of the improvements the factory made over seven decades of the model run. The Model 5 was in steady production from when it was first produced, in 1906 I think, practically until the end of Linotype factory production. About all I’ve had to do is clean it up, lube it and change the distributor drive belt. I was a pretty good operator in the day—a long time ago—but didn’t have much training in maintenance. So I hope to talk Joe into coming back down here (when it gets a little cooler) for some training. Joe Halton is a past master of letterpress/linecaster typography, a printer of note, an absolute treasure trove of Linotype lore and a master Linotype mechanic. Not only that, he’s a hell-of-a-nice guy and I’m very pleased to have made his acquaintnance. I think it was a bit of wrench emotionally for him to have sold this Model 5. He told me he apprenticed on the machine and brought it into the typesetting business he had for many years in San Francisco. So that’s like 54 years, folks. I hope he knows that it will receive a lot of TLC from me and, unlike so many linecasters that have gone to scrap in recent years, this machine is not going to be junked on my watch. I’m pretty sure it’s the only operational Linotype in Tucson and perhaps the only one in the state of Arizona. It is the perfect machine for my purposes and I consider myself doggone fortunate to have gotten it.

Since this thread has become current again, I’d like to mention that I have been very pleased working with Dave Seat on my Ludlows, Linotype and Intertype. Dave travels the country servicing hot metal machines and can be found at

- Alan