Cost New?

The other day a fellow visited my new shop. We were talking and the subject of the cost of the Intertype new came up.

Does anyone know what the cost of a new Intertype or Linotype was?

A co-worker told me back in 1970 when I was working a typesetting house that the new G4 the shop purchased cost $90,000.

The shop had 6 Intertype, but this was the first brand new one.

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can remember back in 1965 a shop I worked at priced a new linotype, it was 18,000.

That sound more in line than what a co-worker told me. I paid $15,000 for a brand new Heidelberg Windmill.

Certainly costs would have varied considerably over time in both real and constant dollars and depending upon model and equipment. But here’s one data point (exactly in line with dickg’s note):

According to a Mergenthaler invoice that I am fortunate to have, in July 1965 they billed the George Mills Printing Company (George Mills late of Carnegie and the author of Platen Press Operation) for Linotype Model 31 4/90 s/n 71772, equipped with V-belt motor, thermo-blo mold cooler, electric hydraquadder, and Elektron metal feeder, but minus all molds, liners, and magazines. The cost was $18,279.00. Against this they credited $16,779 for the exchange of a Linotype Elektron II 4/90, s/n 71189. Mills retained the molds, liners, and magazines from the Elektron. Mills bore the cost of freight and rigging for the Model 31 and the freight for the Elektron back to Mergenthaler.

The Elektron II that was exchanged had been purchased in 1964 by Mills, new from Mergenthaler, for $19,751, equipped with an electrically controlled hydraquadder, four molds, and four magazines.

I’ll be placing scans of this material on my website at some point, but haven’t yet had the chance. My thanks to John Horn for preserving this material and making it available.

David M.

I set a lot of type on George’s linotype that was in his shop in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh. I worked there in 1962/63, my junior and senior years in college. George was a stickler for equipment that worked well, and he was generally displeased with the new linotypes being produced in that time frame. I believe that he also had a new Comet that went back to the factory as being unsatisfactory. My last type setting on one of George’s linotypes, this one an almost new 31 that came out of the University of Oklahoma Press, was back in the early 1990s when I spent a week with him in Ft. Smith, Arkansas.

I have the machine that is mentioned in the quote, hopefully the phots are clear enough to read. I got a chuckle out of the proposel from Merganthaler when I found it in boxes that came with the machine, Enjoy.

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Thank you everyone. The price looks cheap today,but back in the 60’s you could buy a house for machine.