I started on a Intertype (Linotype) back in 1964, and learned about the operations and care of one at that time. As person that like to know more than just push this and it works I read up on the Linotype.

There has to thousands of parts and know the man that invented the machine didn’t design all those parts.

Does anyone know how all these people came up this great parts to make any of these letterpress machines work.

The list of parts is endless.

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Yeah, they were mechanical engineers. I’m pretty sure they drew them and based them on things like clocks and other tested and true mechanisms, and innovated where they were required to.

It’s a beautiful thing to watch one of those machines ticking away, dropping sorted mats back into the case on it’s own, ejecting a slug with perfectly cast letters…… And the complicated timing and mechanisms that went into it are just a small, wondrous reminder of the genius collective men can achieve when they put their minds, curiosity, and innovation directly into it.

I am also amazed at how many people came up with improvements and modifications to the Linotype, and started their own companies to sell them. Was there any aftermarket stuff for the Ludlow?

A friend of mine started a revolutionary war British group back in the 1970’s, he researched every detail of the uniforms to make them as original as possible. We used my ludlow to cast his musket balls, one day while casting his ammo he was asking about casting buttons for the uniforms, i checked it out and found a man in Rhode Island that would make a mat for the ludlow that you could cut the slug off and you had a button, we had him make 2 different sizes, they held the units pants up for years. I even gave him a ludlow so he could cast his own. You could get mats from places other than ludlow, but i don’t think there was anything aftermarket made for the ludlow (i could be wrong) Dick G.

M&H Type had a mold for casting a button (also a military button), but I think it was for a Thompson caster.
The bullet casting sounds interesting. How were the bullets delivered from the mold? On sprue attached to a slug? Someone asked me about a Ludlow to do exactly that, but I couldn’t imagine a delivery path.

We just use the pot with a laddel, resting the moulds on the mouth piece to heat them up, with the cover up. Now you got me wondering, bullets from the mould, maybe. Dick G.