Publications and printed material


Linotype graphic.jpg

Detail from a Linotype publication.

Towards the end of the twentieth century, the Linotype machine had lost relevance as phototypesetting and subsequently digital typesetting took over. After shifting to the manufacture of other machinery and products, L&M eventually closed its doors. Over 100,000 drawings were salvaged from the demolition of the factory and have been on the market in various ways ever since, including being sold individually at flea markets and online. Some items even made a 2014 appearance on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow.

The Letterform Archive secured about 60,800 original drawings, comprising at least 600 complete fonts. This has ensured that the collection will be protected from further dispersal and it will eventually be accessible to Archive visitors as full typeface sets, each with all its uppercase and lowercase letters, numerals, and punctuation.


TRA616.3 - The Linotype and Machinery News, 1964.jpg

The Linotype and Machinery News, No.3 (1964). Trafford Local Studies Collection, cat. ref. LHC/616/3

Trafford Local Studies archive holds a number of professional guides and publications, pamphlets and instruction manuals published by the company between 1949 and 1970. These had previously been held at Altrincham Library and are a treasure trove for anyone interested in the nature of printing before it was computerised. The items include:

  • Various Linotype manuals, handbooks, including Linotype for Book Work, Linotype Faces
  • Linotype Matrix, a broadsheet style typographic journal published from time to time by Linotype and Machinery Limited, from 1948 through the 1950s
  • The L&M News – a professional guide for those working in the sector
  • Linotype Leisure Club, L&M social Club, L&M Apprentices’ Association September 1938
  • Copies of the company’s Service Journal primarily devoted to L&M machinery and its uses

The Service Journal was published by Linotype and Machinery Limited with 6 editions per year, available on subscription.

In the early fifties the Service Journal was very formal. Staff news was not included, although later on appointments at a very senior level were reported. No social occasions were discussed and any staff achievements reported were work-based. By the 1960s, more colour print was used and items included a profile of a long-serving member of staff, articles on deceased and retired workers and a series of articles about the pros and cons of joining the Common Market! By 1970 there were articles and photos of visits to various printing sites, including Broadheath, which was always referred to as the Altrincham works. A 1958 edition featured a visit by the Shah of Persia (Iran) to a newspaper printing works in Teheran, which used machinery supplied by Linotype. Technical information from factories around the world was published. The journal included guides for type setters and maintenance workers. Through the 1950s a very thorough and (by today’s standards) rather pedantic language usage guide At the Sign of the Literal was a regular feature. Another feature was a serialised dictionary of terms used in the printing and allied trades. There were technical, historical and general question and answer features as well as accident prevention information.

Elegantly bound compilations of the journals are held in the Trafford Local Studies archive.

Some records are held by the Science Museum Group collection.

Publications and printed material