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Wicks rotary typecaster, 1878.

ScM Photo Studio

Wicks rotary typecaster, 1878.
3 1 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 23cm


As the printing industry expanded in the 19th century, the methods used to cast type began to fall behind, and inventors tried to automate the proces. One succesful high-speed machine was the Wicks, which could cast 1000 types a minute. A wheel equipped with moulds for a complete font of type rotated rapidly while molten metal was pumped into the moulds, cooled, and ejected as a stream of finished types. These machines were largely superseded by machines capable of simultaneous typecasting and composition.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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