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Preserving the Visual History of the Printed Word


PrintingFilms.com preserves the visual history of printing, typography, journalism and graphic design through industrial films.

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Preserving the Visual History of the Printed Word


PrintingFilms.com preserves the visual history of printing, typography, journalism and graphic design through industrial films.

 
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Call for Films


Do you have historical 16mm, 8mm, VHS or DVD copies of a printing-related film that have not been properly digitized? We may be able to help.

Please email us with the details of your collection making sure to include the title, date, subject and any other details about the film.

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Call for Films


Do you have historical 16mm, 8mm, VHS or DVD copies of a printing-related film that have not been properly digitized? We may be able to help.

Please email us with the details of your collection making sure to include the title, date, subject and any other details about the film.

Films in the Collection


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Films in the Collection


“Elektron” - 10:21 - Color - 1962

"In the age of jet speed, Mergenthaler presents the Elektron: fully automated typesetting that is jet fast and all new from the base up."

This film showcases the completely re-designed Elektron Linotype. Fed by perforated tape, the Elektron can cast up to 15 lines per minute without an operator at the machine. 

With many electronic and hydraulic parts, the Elektron was Linotype's last hot-metal type casting machine. Although many improvements were made, the limits of mechanical type setting had been reached and the Elektron was too little too late.

“Linotron 505” - 13:54 - Color - 1969

Featuring the cathode-ray tube Linotron 505 for high-speed film typesetting. Although this is a film machine, the input is still controlled by perforated tape.

The film features many interesting line diagrams on how the CRT machine works and exposes the characters onto paper or film. It goes into great depth about the optical grid system of characters on glass plates.

The ability to photographically create "fake" italics is possible for the first time and the film explains how the characters are created into the optical grid. The facilities and photo labs that create the grids are shown in great detail.

The film ends with an aerial view of the Mergenthaler (a division of Eltra) production plant in Long Island.

“The Diagrammer” - 8:45 - Color - 1970

Promotional film for the Mergenthaler Diagrammer which helped automate technical drawings for schematics, electrical diagrams and drafting.

With a "James Bond" style introduction, this amazingly complex machine seems more exciting than you would think.

There is a great little sequence showing the 1886 Blower Linotype (before its restoration and acquisition by the Smithsonian Institution) and the Elektron. It also gives a quick overview of typing for tape perforation.

“The Tactics of Tapesetting” - 10:28 - Color - 1967

Created by Mergenthaler to show off the newest typesetting, film and computer machines to the American Newspaper Publishers Association. Created at a time when all newspapers knew film and computer technology were the future, but they were not yet convinced in which technology to invest.

It features the Elektron, tape-perforating keyboard center, Linofilm Quick, and other early-computer machines. 

Lots of newspaper men in suits, thick glasses and skinny black ties.

“Blue Streak Linotypes” - 20:44 - B&W - 1955

This film features the Model 31 (with up to four magazines) and the Model 32 (with up to 8 magazines with the auxiliary magazines). Many new safety features and speed improvements are displayed.

Key features: one revolution magazine shifting, swinging keyboard for ease of service, pot safety stops, easy knife adjusting, Moore Lino Saw, mechanical quadding, and the thermo-blow mold blower.

“Linotron 1010” - 10:27 - Color - 1966

The Linotron is a very early CRT exposure machine. It creates a page (not just a line) of text at one time. Using a film grid of characters it can create up to 1,000 per second.

The film starts with the great animated sequence showing the speed of change and mass communication used in Linotype: The Film.

The Linotron 1010 is a CRT machine in three parts; the control unit, the character generator, and the output/display unit. It no longer uses tape input, but now uses magnetic tape from computers.

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About


PrintingFilms.com was established by Doug Wilson after his work as director and producer of Linotype: The Film. During the filming process, Doug was given a box of 16mm films by Dave Seat for digitization. These films now represent the core of Printingfilms.com.

Recently, Carl Schlesinger (a former Linotype operator at the New York Times) donated his extensive collection of films for digitization with help from Frank Romano. Preserving these films is our first priority.

Along with donations from other museums and archives, this website will grow with content to safeguard for future generations.

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About


PrintingFilms.com was established by Doug Wilson after his work as director and producer of Linotype: The Film. During the filming process, Doug was given a box of 16mm films by Dave Seat for digitization. These films now represent the core of Printingfilms.com.

Recently, Carl Schlesinger (a former Linotype operator at the New York Times) donated his extensive collection of films for digitization with help from Frank Romano. Preserving these films is our first priority.

Along with donations from other museums and archives, this website will grow with content to safeguard for future generations.

 
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Sponsors


PrintingFilms.com is seeking dedicated sponsors that believe in preserving this great resource. If you are interested in helping, please get in touch.

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Sponsors


PrintingFilms.com is seeking dedicated sponsors that believe in preserving this great resource. If you are interested in helping, please get in touch.