Shaffstall Transistor Mat Detector for Merg Linotype

I am doing some family research. My father was Everett G. Shaffstall and he had invented and sold a product called the Mat Detector by Shaffstall Equipment Co.
It was used mostly in newspapers on Merg Linotypes as well as others and was sold from the 50’s through the 70’s. He was also a freelance linotype machinest in the 30’s and 40’s.

If you new my father or had worked with any of his products I would appreciate hearing from you.

I am also trying to locate one of these for my family archives.

Tony Shaffstall

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Yes I knew your father. I worked with him in many locations, I have been to his location in Indianoplis. I installed many of his mat detecters on our Intertypes. A good many of them for DeLuxe Printers. He was a good man.

Thanks for the reply.

I really appreciate it.

Gosh, Shaffstall was on practically every machine that had teletype. One came with a Linotype that the family purchased from a local newspaper. Its control box was solid state, which was an interesting anachronism for a mechanical and vacuum tube era machine. It counted mats using a paired light and light detector, and it would automatically stop the machine if a mat did not drop.
On the MetalType web page you will find video and images for machines that are currently using the Shaffstall mat detector.
Everett Shaffstall was evidently a versatile and talented designer.
I know of some possible sources for a mat detector system that I can pass along.

Thanks for the mention Dan, the page with the video on can be found here:,225.msg680/

Tony is currently preparing an article about his father’s invention that will appear on Metal Type when it is completed.

I’m pleased to say the article on the Shaffstall Transistor Mat Detector is now complete on Metal Type. You can see it here:
The patent application and instruction manual is also available for download in PDF format from that page.

I viewed the pictures on your site and recognized Everett right away. I also noted the
operators control box was mounted on a Monarch. This was a keyboardless model with a
Fairchild operating unit. There is a remote possibility that I installed the mat detector.

After the Brooklyn Harris Intertype factory closed our machines were manufactured in
Slough, England. They were shipped in containers overseas to Baltimore, Md. The
containers were then trucked to Chicago where I would install Shaffstall mat detectors,
Star Autosetters, Star quadders and Fairchild operating units or what ever the customer
had ordered.. I can’t remember our contact in Slough, but I think his name was Tony. I
visited the Bindery Division Factory in Slough in 1987.

Everett also made a massage table, as he had back pain as did I. I worked with Everett
many times.

He also had a tube model before his transistor model. I enjoyed reading your article. It brought back many memorys.

I worked with your father installing mat detectors on Linotype Elektrons at several locations. He was a superman at installing and troubleshooting. Miss Him