The machine in this picture was called the Kastenbein Typesetter.
Instead of picking up each tiny letter by hand the typesetter just tapped the letters he wanted, like a typewriter.
A very rudimentary form of typesetting.
The machine also sorted out the letters after they had been used, so they could be used again. The Times installed this typesetter in the 1870s.
I would expect that the Kastenbein Typesetter had a short life because the hot metal casting brilliance of the Linotype was set to turn composing on its head.
from Metal Type