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Calrose Typesetters winding down

Hi All,

Calrose Typesetters in Johannesburg, South Africa is winding down operations and I will be selling the bulk of what is there.

There are Monotype, Intertype machines and a Ludlow Machine. The Ludlow and Intertype matrixes were stolen over 2 years ago which stopped the slug casting and ended the small cashflow that covered the rent. There is a motorised rule miterer, two slug trimming saws, a plate height gague, a selection of ingot moulds, A manual miterer and rule cutter. There is a lot of distributed type (and a bit of odd fonts NOS) A lot of galley racks for storing your jobs and a small amount of furniture. A vertical and a horizontal repro camera and a Hadego Phototypesetting camera with about 60 fonts. A large steel ‘stone’ and a light table and various other bits.

My dream was to convert it into a working museum but the demand in South Africa is not there. I am going to make a gracefull exit and break up the collection to try and cover my costs. If I convert it all to scrap metal I will be out of pocket but what does not sell will get weighed in.

If anyone is interested in following the process as I start to list the items please Like the Facebook page or keep an eye out on the web page, I may make an ocasional update here and have considered turning on a small mailing list for the purpose.

I am going to give away some Letterpress goodies to people who take the time to like the FaceBook page.

Website is

Some have been itemised on
for a while but little interest.

Some have pictures on Flicker at

Thank you for reading all that.



Calrose Typesetters
Johannesburg, South Africa

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Linotype without spacebands

Can’t find the post for the following explanation, so it is dropped here.

The way to run a linotype (usually on tape and computer-assisted) without spacebands is to use the other spaces: the matrices which are usually an em space, an en and a thin; it would help if a space of width between the thin and the en is available; I can think of at least one way, but needs a slight re-programming of the computer.

The computer divides the text into lines, allotting the thin space as inter-word space. Hyphenation if needed, and on short measures is essential. Then the width of the characters in each line is totalled and each line is expanded to the desired measure of the line by increasing the space between words; this spacing will be nearly always non-uniform, but one old-time compositor argued that spacing should not be uniform throughout the line. The reason for calling for a space equal in width to something between the en and the thin is to allow of some equalisation, or near-equalisation. The line is then cast, with the linotype machine having centred quadding engaged. Of course, at the end of each paragraph, or for other demands, other quadding is engaged for that line. The tiny amount of white space which will appear at the ends (both ends) of some lines is tolerated.

At the newspaper where I worked, we tried Fairchild keyboards, with the keyboard operator inserting the end-of-line breaks manually; the operators thought it a waste of expensive manhours. The Fairchild keyboards produced paper perforated tape, which was then taken to an Intertype fitted to read tape. At least we learned to read tape, which came in useful when we later went to cold type with “idiot” keyboards and typesetting machines (VIP) which had a relatively-simple computer in to divide the lines.

Doing away with spacebands overcame some problems of tape-fed linos.

Hyphenation is another ball game, one which needs some skill, and most computer machines lack what can be called foresight and hindsight, resulting in some horrendous hyphenations.