Yesterday's Technology . . . Today!

The Linecaster

Mike Wilson has published a book called "Full Fathom Five" which may be available on the Metal Type bookshop.

In far-off days,
when Macintosh deterred the rain,
and hot metal reigned supreme,
there dwelt abroad,
in solitary splendour or ranked and rowed:
the linecaster.

Sired by Heath Robinson
out of necessity's invention,
this mechanism of complications
stands proud in print shops throughout the land.

Nimble fingers of willing acolytes
caress its keys,
and matrices,
those elegant stars of brassed precision,
fall into lines
to greet the molten lead.

Solidified then kissed by ink
the type speeds news and information
to the masses,
waging war on ignorance.

They are gone,
and words have lost a meaning -
casting, matrix, elevator, liner, vice -
or have been lost - disser, star-wheel, quadder;
our language is bereft.

What now the linecaster?
Memories, and museum piece;
still, noble men with cherished skills,
give reverence to freedom's friend:

The Linotype.

Mike Wilson, 4th December 2003

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