Intertype Fotosetter

Taken from the book "Operation and Mechanism of the Linotype and Intertype" by J Ashworth, first published in 1955.

The Intertype Fotosetter

The Intertype Fotosetter

The Intertype Fotosetter, many models of which are in commercial use in the United States, is similar in appearance and general operation to the standard Intertype slug machine.

The Fotosetter employs the familiar principle of the circulating matrix, assembled and distributed in the usual way.

The metal pot, however, is replaced by a camera which photographs each matrix character separately.

Intertype Fotosetter operating controls

The Intertype Fotosetter's operating controls

1. The manual film-feed dials permit additional spacing of display lines, chapter headings, sub-headings, side headings and the like. Therefore, spacing normally inserted in a separate make-up operation in the case of metal type, can be provided instantly during Fotosetter composition.

2. The micrometer film-feed dial automatically adds to or subtracts from the basic line-space feed. It permits changes in the basic feed by increments of a thousandth of an inch and makes possible fractional body sizes to fit the desired depth. 3. The line counter records only lines which have been exposed on the film.

4. The margin indention dial assures even, vertical alignment of the first characters down the left side of a column; for example, a 36-pt. cap A in one line aligning on the left with a 6-pt. cap A at the beginning of the next line.

5. The camera speed control knob regulates the exposure speed for text and display matter. The operator simply places the control in either of the two positions to obtain the required speed.

6. The lens turret dial provides instant and accurate selection of the desired lens. The large numerals indicate the point sizes of the type faces which the respective lenses will produce. Accurate location of each lens is assured by positive detent stops. These stops are adjustable to provide bottom alignment of all type sizes.

7. The automatic film-feed dial provides twenty-six different spacings between lines, and repeats the selected spacing continuously and accurately until the setting is changed.

8. The blank-out lever prevents the film from feeding and the characters from exposing when the operator wishes to "kill" a line. This enables the operator to send a pie line through the camera for distribution without exposing the unwanted line.

9. The camera light rheostat regulates the intensity of the light which projects the character object. A light meter indicates the intensity of the light at any setting of the rheostat.

10. The line-reading position of the distributing elevator enables the operator to find his place in the copy after an interruption. The elevator automatically returns the Fotomats to the distributor as soon as the first word space of the next line has been released. When the operator sets composition continuously, the elevator does not stop in the line-reading position.

11 and 12. justification and tabular scales. In connection with the justifying mechanism, these scales are provided for setting tabular matter at the left or at the right of justified matter.

13. The justification control lever determines whether a line will justify to the full measure, or whether the line will automatically set flush left or right when setting short lines.

14. The film signal light indicates when the supply of film is exhausted.

15. The assembler slide scales. Nine assembler slide scales, mounted on a rotatable drum, provide direct-reading measurements for setting the assembler slide for any length of line up to forty-two picas. Whether the operator wishes to enlarge a 12-point fount up to 36-point or reduce an 8-point fount to 6-point, he turns the required scale into position. The precalculated scale tells him directly how long to compose the line of Fotomats in order that the reproduced line will be the required length in the selected type size.

Setting the assembler slide. Changes from one measure to another on the assembler slide scales are made by turning a handle at the right of the keyboard. This handle provides a centralised control which simultaneously sets the assembler slide and the line delivery stop for any measure selected.


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