One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A composing machine producing lines of words as single strips of metal, used chiefly for newspapers. It is now rarely used.
- ‘It sounds like the Victorian era when I talk about it now, but I was an indentured apprentice and I was in there at the death of hot metal and I still think that a Linotype machine is a more amazing creation than a computer.’
- ‘In those days type was cast in hot metal on Linotype machines and if power was off, the metal went cold.’
- ‘I'd thought that ‘slug’ applied to any piece of mechanically cast type, whether a Linotype's lines or a Monotype's sorts.’
- ‘In Linotype, molten metal was set into whole lines of type.’
- ‘There's no way a typewriter could ‘set’ the type in this memo and even a good typesetter using a Linotype machine of the era would have to spend hours getting this effect.’
Late 19th century: alteration of the phrase line o' type.
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