Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bill Spurling & Linotype.org

Brian Donnell seated. Bill Spurling standing.
At Bill Spurling’s Place. 
Bill Spurling is a great resource for linotype operators and enthusiasts in this region and beyond. He and his son Tristan have managed to save many machines from the scrap yard including these:

1912 Model 5, 1922 Model 8, 1923 Model 8, 1924 Model 14, 1938 Model 29, 1946 Model 31, 1949 Model 31, 1949 Model 30, 1962 Model 30, 1960 Model 29

Many of the above listed machines have been stripped down and rebuilt by Bill, so it’s been great to pick his brain while learning tricks and general maintenance on our 31. He has been generous with his time and spare parts when needed. Also, one of his 31s is a cousin of our machine. It shipped in the same year and is only 302 machines younger than ours, so it has been helpful to study a nice clean runner for comparison.

Bill is the man behind the website Linotype.org which is full of useful information including a chart of machine serial numbers, downloadable .pdf manuals, regional linotype history, etc. From his site: “This site is dedicated to the unsung heros that made it all work, the Linotype Machinists and Machinist-Operators everywhere, past, present and future.” Hear, hear.


  1. I found that if keep your thumb on the end of the rubber roller this keeps air in the roller and makes it easier to push on. Another trick is to graphite the steel shaft.

  2. RE: Replace Keyboard Rubber

    I didn't try graphite. I cleaned the core and hit it with emery cloth so it was smooth. I was probably thinking that graphite may cause the rubber to slip after it is in place, but after having gone through the process and discovering first hand how tight the fit actually is, a little graphite wouldn't of hurt a thing. Thanks for the tip, Pat! -Brian