Hot Metal

The process of composition with the Ludlow is similar to hand composing with type – I had to compose the line and justify it in a composing stick. But instead of placing individual letters of type in a line, I was putting individual moulds for the letters – called matrices – into lines of text. The hot type metal is injected into the matrices by the Ludlow machine and we’d get a slug of type cast. It might be easier to see in pictures:


A matrix (‘mat’) for the letter W

Composing Stick

The mats arranged in the composing stick to form a line – with spaces added to justify the whole line. Note that a single line is in two parts with a separator between the two halves.

Hot metal

Molten type metal in the Ludlow – all shiny

Ludlow inside

The metal gets squirted through this slot

Operating Ludlow

Operating the Ludlow with the stick in place to receive the molten type metal.

Line of Type

Two slugs making up the first line of text


And the full quotation finished


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