Are these linotypes?

Could someone help identify these machines?

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They might be Intertypes; there are features that don’t look like any Linotype I’ve seen. If you walk around to the keyboard side, there are usually plaques at the top of the machine that say “Linotype” or “Intertype”

Linotype Comets—those were in a 7th or 8th floor location in a building in either Kansas City or St. Louis that belonged to a typesetting company that did legal work. When they shut down, they just walked away from the entire operation and the building itself was basically abandoned about the same time. There were hundreds of galleys, several stones and a Vandercook Universal I and a #4 that was rescued by the architect who was working on the restoration of the building. They were pretty rusty but since they had built an outside freight elevator to service the restoration (nothing mechanical in the structure was operational) he was able to remove the presses. The building itself had a wonderful 2 story high gallery that ran the length of the first floor that had retail stores opening off the gallery. This all happened about 10 years ago and I have lost track of the guy who was involved in this. I would assume this room is now high end office space.


A little digging and I found out that this is the Arcade Building in St. Louis, still awaiting restoration. Many pictures and several more of the Comets are on this site:

and a ton of pictures and more of the Comets here:


??? The caption from one black and white plate, from a book in a small archive, reads >>The *square-base* Linotype machine: a design introduced in 1890 . . quoted verbatim!! Looks identical from a comparison of the shots.
Apart from natural upgrades and improvements, and there are Many listed, by implication no other machine would appear to fit the bill, Conjecture, NOT fact.???
So possibly the answer could be, Early Linos or special purpose modifications.? As Fritz implies, Legal Work Typesetting involving *One Off* modifications.??
Not unlike Monotype machines being modified to cast Reverse Delivery on Arabic & Hebrew text!!. . Same Machine, unusual Angle.???

Those ghost machines do not have a square base. I can see the short legs on the crucible side. I can also see the rather late electronic controls next to the crucible. Comets also had a steeper pitch to drop the mats faster.
Comets were supposed to be a major speed improvement over previous models. They also required tighter maintainance. As Pete Stoelzl (the only keyboard man I ever met who was a swift on Linecaster, Monotype, Sun and Mac) said, whenever we had a jam on a Comet, we just threw the mats away. That’s one reason why most contemporaary linecasters prefer the simpler machines: fewer problems, and a damaged mat is a big problem today, even with all the mat repair tools ever made.

Buried in the text that is with the second set of photos I linked to is a comment that these were Comets. See this link:

and this gives a front view of the machines. There was no printing done here, just typesetting.


Mick, the square base Linotypes had straight-sided, vertical-walled box bases, not the spider leg pedestal bases of later machines. They looked very different. These machines in St. Louis were definitely not square base.

See this picture on Flickr for a rare, surviving square-base machine.

Mephits, Sir, thank you, I can now see from Your last Flickr. entry as above that, my one shot is indeed *square base* Lino from quite an early period, illustrating a large drip/swarf tray under the pot and mould wheel mecahanism, I will try to post a shot, S.A.P. because you have to see, where the massive speed controller and the main line fuses are located, I.E. RIGHT UNDER the feet of the operator, and pictured apparently, equipped with only ONE magazine, and absence of the normal large lever to swap magazines.???
My humble original effort, was just a Guess in answer to the original question, (caption, *are These Linotypes*)
But Thank You, (M) and possibly excuse my ramblings. Mick.!!

“Massive speed controller”???
The speed of a Linotype is constant and only changed by replacing pinion gears.
The big dial below and right of the keyboard is a rheostat that controls throat temperature on older machines. Solid-state electronics replaced this in later machines such as these Comets and earlier Blue-Streaks, but some of us still use the older mechanisms.

Thanks! You guys are amazing!