Hot off the Progress-Bulletin linotype machine

The former Progress-Bulletin newspaper headquarters in downtown Pomona is still around, now dubbed the Progress Building and used for lofts, retail, a bar and an art gallery. The latter, the Prog Gallery, is in the basement. And in the basement, off in a corner, stands the Prog’s old linotype machine.

That’s the machine on which articles were typeset for decades. It looks like a beast, but at the time the linotype was an advancement over handsetting of type, i.e., a human picking out metal bits of type from boxes for each letter and form of punctuation.

The linotype would set, yes, entire lines of type all at once when an operator typed out the lines on a 90-character keyboard. The Prog’s machine was made by the leading manufacturer, the Mergenthaler Linotype Co. It was in use until about 1976, retired Prog/Daily Bulletin staffer Mike Brossart tells me. That’s when phototypesetting was introduced.

I was in the basement looking at art a few weeks ago and noticed the machine. I must have seen it before, but it caught my eye, so I snapped a couple of photos for posterity.

Here’s a Wikipedia entry for linotype if you want to delve more deeply.

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