In the world of type and typography, most people call to mind the invention of movable type by Gutenberg and the invention of the computer. But in-between those inventions, there was a period of around 100 years with other fascinating technologies, including the Linotypes and Intertypes.

Few people have any idea of these technologies, let alone would be able to operate them. A great deal of information about the Linotype and Intertype is threatened by oblivion. Because of our love for letters and related technology, we aim to preserve as much typesetting technology as possible for future generations.

Therefore, we created a digital archive about how to operate and maintain those machines. If you have available information to add, we would appreciate if you would share.

We also offer the possibility to operate a Linotype yourself in Antwerp, Belgium. If you are interested, please make a reservation via or via

The 'Linotype Technicians' Archive

All information needed to restore Linotypes and Intertypes (in Dutch)

Look into the archive

The 'Linotype Technicians' Archive provides valuable insights into how to operate and to maintain Linotype and Intertype machines. The archive is assembled by Maarten Renckens in collaboration with Sus Pulmans, Stoffel Van den Bergh and Patrick Goossens. While working on this archive, this team received a generous teacher-student grant from the Flemish government. This grant was intended for learning the skills of a Linotype-technician. It speeded up the work significantly and allowed us to digitize more of the intangible heritage connected to those machines.

A similar (smaller) archive in English is started by the Museum of Printing, Haverhill, Massachusetts, USA, and can be found here: the Linotype Legacy Series.

Other resources and databases

Much more information is brought together here in this database. It is available for free, but please use it only with a correct reference containing the author name and a link to the webpage.

  1. Information about the matrices:
    1. The matrices production proces
    2. 3D printed matrices
  2. Information about the different models of the machines:
    1. The different Intertype Models
    2. The different Linotype Models, American productions
    3. The different Linotype Models, English productions
    4. The different Linotype Models, German productions
    5. The different Neotype Models
  3. Information about the machine's technical specifications:
    1. Linotype and Intertype slug dimensions
    2. Linotype and Intertype keyboards: the differences between the various countries
    3. Linotype and Intertype magazines' dimensions: the differences between the companies and between different countries
  4. Information about Intertype and Linotype renovation projects:
    1. The Linotype technicians archive
    2. Restoring the PXL-MAD Intertype to working condition (Hasselt, Belgium)
  5. Varia
    1. The correct maintenance of Intertypes and Linotypes
    2. A map of the remaining Intertypes/Linotypes/Monotypes in and around Belgium

Recommended literature

We recommend the following Dutch sources for more information:

  1. DE JONG I.C.H. (1947). Handboek voor den lino en intertypezetter (manual for the Linotype and Intertype operator). (pdf)
  2. DE JONG I.C.H. (s.d.). Van Storingen en stellingen - 3de druk (from malfunctions and adjustments - 3th edition).
  3. RONNER L. (1914). Van leerling tot zetter (from pupil to operator). (pdf)
  4. UITGEVERSBEDRIJF EDECEA HOORN. (s.d.). uitgebreide leerstof zetten - eerste leerjaar (extended learning material - first year). (pdf)
  5. VAN DER MEER. H.F. (s.d.). Machinezetten - handleiding voor den leermeester-gezel en den leerling (machine setting - manual for the teacher and pupil). (pdf)

We recommend the following English sources for more information:

  1. ABEL, O.R., & STRAW, W.A. (1956). Mechanism of the Linotype and Intertype. Brookings Lebawarts Press: South Dakota.
  2. INTERTYPE CORPORATION. (s.d.). Intertype Operation. (pdf)
  3. INTERTYPE CORPORATION. (s.d.) Intertype Hand Book. A brief manual of instruction for users of the intertype. Brooklyn, New York.
  4. INTERTYPE CORPORATION. (1929). The Intertype. Its function, care, operation and adjustment. Brooklyn: New York.
  5. INTERTYPE CORPORATION. (s.d.). The Intertype mixer brochure mixed composition automatic distribution. (pdf)
  6. LINOTYPE & MACHINERY LIMITED. (1934). Linotype keyboard operation and hints to learners. (pdf):
  7. MACMILLAN, D.M.; & KRANDALL, R. (s.d.). Matrix Information and Identification. (Link to website):
    1. MACMILLAN, D.M.; & KRANDALL, R. (s.d.). Identifying Intertype Matrices. (Link to website) which mentions the following books:
      1. INTERTYPE COMPANY. (1958). Font Numbers and Face Lines. (Link).
      2. INTERTYPE COMPANY. (between 1958 and 1963). Matrix Identification. (Link).
    2. MACMILLAN, D.M.; & KRANDALL, R. (s.d.). Identifying a Mergenthaler Matrix. (Link to website) which mentions the following books:
      1. MERGENTHALER LINOTYPE COMPANY. (1934). Useful Matrix Information (1st edition). (Link).
      2. MERGENTHALER LINOTYPE COMPANY. (1937). Useful Matrix Information (2nd edition). (Link).
      3. MERGENTHALER LINOTYPE COMPANY. (1945). Useful Matrix Information (3th edition). (Link).
      4. MERGENTHALER LINOTYPE COMPANY. (1959). Useful Matrix Information (4th edition). (Link).
      5. MERGENTHALER LINOTYPE COMPANY. (1966). Useful Matrix Information (5th edition). (Link).
  8. MACMILLAN, D.M.; & KRANDALL, R. (s.d.). The Linotype Bulletin. (Link to website with multiple sources).
  9. MERGENTHALER LINOTYPE COMPANY. (s.d.). Weights and Measurements for Linotype Machines for Export. (link).
  10. THOMPSON, J.S. (1918). The mechanism of the Linotype. The inland printer company, Chicago.

We recommend the following type specimens:

  1. MERGENTHALER LINOTYPE COMPANY. (s.d.). Linotype faces. (link).
  2. MERGENTHALER LINOTYPE COMPANY. (s.d.). The manual of Linotype typography. (pdf)

We recommend the following websites for more information (we are not affiliated):

  1. Museum Finder (AEPM)
  5. Metal Type
    1. With its overview of all models
  6. International Printing museum (page contains a good movie)
  8. Youtube channel of The Museum of Printing, Massachusetts

c 2022 Maarten Renckens. All rights reserved.