Follow along as I research, write, and shape the book into its final form. The only way to learn more is to sign up for the members-only newsletter.
No spam — only updates & stories from the road: secret locations, special photos, and a behind-the-scenes look at the reality of making the book. It might not always be pretty, but it will be fun.
The Road Ahead
- Where is the original Blower Linotype machine? It hasn’t been seen publicly in three decades.
- What were the experiences of women & minority populations using the Linotype?
- Can we find the original 1936 NBC radio broadcast celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Linotype?
- Why did the Linotype company fail to transition to photo and computer technology?
- How did a small group of people swindle over $775,000 from the company in 1945?
- What was the APL (All-Purpose Linotype) and why did it fail so spectacularly?
- How did the International Typographic Union become so powerful?
- Why did the New York Times wait 20 years longer than almost anyone else to stop using the Linotype?
- Why was Ottmar Mergenthaler so angry and depressed at the end of his life?
- What was the relation between the U.S., U.K., German, and Italian Linotype companies?
Just The Facts, Ma’am
- Research locations identified
- Spreadsheets already created
- Topic ideas for future newsletters
- Estimated budget to self-publish the book
- Secret custom typeface already in progress
- Estimated pages of the final book
- Books currently in the bibliography
- Estimated years to finish research & writing
Did you know?
- The Linotype wasn’t the first (or even the best) typesetting machine, but it suceeded due to overly-aggressive lawyers?
- Ottmar Mergenthaler was kicked out of his own company because he couldn’t stop tinkering?
- The author Mark Twain practically went bankrupt funding a machine that was faster at composing type than the Linotype?
- There was a Twilight Zone television episode centered around a “possessed” Linotype?
- The venture capitalists behind the Linotype mainly invested so they could break up the printing & typesetting unions?
- The Linotype company almost went out of business because Mergenthaler submitted a patent for spacing words 49 days too late?
My name is Doug Wilson, and I am a designer, writer, filmmaker, and “typographic historian.” After the film came out, I thought I was finished with the Linotype — but I was wrong.
I’ve continued to research and collect information about the Linotype with a focus on the larger impact on society and journalism and now, I’m writing a book to share it with you.
Make sure to sign up for the newsletter and follow along on Instagram.