Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 40.djvu/203

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191
TYPE-CASTING MACHINES.

accepted as a practical fact. The International Typographical Union, at its last annual meeting in the United States, recommended its subordinate unions, in cities in which the machines come into use, to prepare a scale of prices for the work done, and to urge that union compositors be employed as operators. This is a sensible acceptance of a new order of things.

In conclusion, this is to be observed: There are theoretical objections to the machines in many small details which have not been touched on in this article, partly because I wish to present a clear general idea of the subject unencumbered by trivialities; partly because to handle them would require complicated and technical descriptions likely to confuse those who have not seen the machines, or who are not familiar with type-setting or stereotyping methods and appliances. With regard to such possible objections, it should be remembered that the type-casting principle scarcely now requires to defend itself against fanciful opponents. It has been tried, and not found wanting. As was stated at the outset of this article, a large number of Linotypes have been successfully employed for years in the composing-room of a leading New York paper. I have tried to deal with the chief possibilities of failure in the machine and it has been noticed that these possibilities seem to be chiefly in connection with printing establishments of limited extent and means. Few of the drawbacks, it appears to me, would be serious in a large office employing machines, and located in centers where the prompt assistance of expert mechanics can be had, and my conviction of this is borne out by the New York Tribune's experience. Such a test as the Linotype has received in that office during five years is the most conclusive answer to technical or theoretical objections to the principle of type-casting. The real problem with a publisher should be, not whether the machines are a success when used on a large scale, but whether his own business is large enough to justify him in introducing them into his own office. To use an exaggerated illustration, there is no question but that a steam-locomotive is an infinitely more useful powerful, and, on a proper scale, more economical affair than a wheelbarrow; but a laborer building a bit of roadway may do better with the wheelbarrow.

 


 
Mr. Robert T. Hill has observed, near the springs and water-holes of the Cretaceous of central Texas, many workshops where the Indians manufactured spears and arrow-heads. Near an old Comanche trail in Travis County almost every flint seems to have been broken or tested. In evidence that the implements have been manufactured in the present century, the author adduces the facts that they are always found on the surface, and that the Indians have actually used them in their warfare with the white men.