Hot Metal Comps. had a unique way of saying goodbye to a workmate who was retiring from the trade.
There was a hell of a lot of racket in the Comp Room when it happened!
The journeyman Comps. and their Apprentices would scatter everywhere grabbing small chases, metal galleys, quoin keys, furniture or anything remotely metal and line up around the work “stone” or “stones” and wait.
Wait for what, you may ask? Yes, it was for some poor old bastard who was retiring.
The noise was deafening as the blokes went ballistic by banging away with their chases and galleys at a furious rate.
It was bloody wonderful fun and a fitting tribute to the comp for his years of slaving away with lead type and ink.
Gradually with the advent of new technology the clang-out slowly subsided.
There wasn’t much fun in trying to slap two paper bromides together.
It was a bloody sad time! The trade was changing as the new technology swept over us!
In 1912 the patents covering the basic mechanism of the Linotype expired and a group of investors and former Merganthaler Linotype employees formed the International Typesetting Machine Company (later changed to the Intertype Company).
The general principles of operation of the Linotype and Intertype are exactly the same—in fact, most of the matrices are interchangeable.
The founders of the new company felt that the marketplace was ripe for a competitor to Linotype, and felt that they could produce a machine with enough improvements to create that competition.
By most accounts they did; the Intertype is a simpler machine than the Linotype, and incorporated a number of improvements, while retaining the same functionality.
They also created the ability to easily expand the machine, something not true of the Linotype.
The Intertype was the backbone of the Old Guv’s Hot Metal production of (Hansard) Parliamentary Debates for the South Australian Government over many years.
The Intertype like the Linotype was a slug casting machine with a keyboard set up all of its own.
No qwerty keyboard here!
On a hot Adelaide day it could be quite unpleasant working the Intertypes with their hot metal pots all heating up the room. We had a battery of around 15 or so machines.
The Hansard night shift was a marathon event, with 12 hour shifts not uncommon.
Overall the Intertype and Linotype were very reliable and for a period of time revolutionised the trade of hot metal compostion.
The Old Guv Men’s football side from 1955 at Rostrevor College Oval.
From Left to Right: Rex Wells (Comp), George Sparnon (Comp), Glyn Paul (comp), Paul Raby (Printer), Allan Hitchox (Comp), John Strudwick (Printer), Brian Long (Printer), Laurie Blackwell (Printer), Don Woolman (Comp), Mike Conroy (App. Machine Comp), Allan Swinstead (Comp), Dean Groves (Binder), Alex McDougall (Printer), Don Loose (Comp), John McInerney (Comp), Malcolm Lind (Binder), Frank Cole (Captain), Billy Ross (MonoCaster).
Kneeling: Paul Korff (App. Machine Comp), Ron Sparrow (Comp), Dick Korff (Binder).
This brave group of blokes played National Paper Industries (who used to make most of Adelaide’s paper bags) and got done.
They were wearing kit borrowed from the Sturt Football Club and organised by Rex (Fitzy) Wells.
From Right to Left: Norm Hodson, John (Sgt. Carter) Cresswell, Grant Hofmeyer (with beard) on Heidelberg 4; Ray Belt on KSB, John Cowell and Ian (Luwigi) Russell on KSB.
On 10 x 15 Heidelberg Platens over by the sink are: Bob Cooper in light coloured shirt and George Palmer in Overalls.
Laurie Hussin is on a Vertical Miehle behind them and I think way over in the back is ‘Farmer’ John Fletcher.
Note the pieces of dirty and stinking rubber (Cut up conveyor belt) placed at the machine delivery.
These rubber mats were procured from a fertiliser company by Frank Johnson to protect our wonderful parquet floor from the rough bastards who kept on dropping their letterpress printing formes on the floor.
The parquet floor was totally impractical for a Machine Room and soon started breaking up.
In the words of Brian James, Government Printer, “this is the largest parquet floor in the Southern Hemisphere”.
YEAH! So what…OK for a Ballroom but hopeless for a heavy work area.