A large wooden type case containing about 400 pieces of lead type.
See full details

Object detail

Credit line
This type case and lead type was salvaged from a back shed of a community newspaper in Putaruru during the 1970s. Much of the original type is missing. In the early days of newspapers every page had to be printed one letter at a time.To prepare a newspaper page a compositor would select individual letters from a type case and arrange them into words in a small metal frame called a setting stick. The type was then placed on a page form, inked up and printed. Once printing was completed the type would be cleaned and replaced in the type case.
This labour intensive process required great skill and workers had to master the layout of the cases before they could work efficiently. Type was carefully arranged in the individual compartments with commonly used letters to the left. Newspapers began to adopt faster printing technology after the Linotype machine was invented in the 1880s but individual letters of type were still widely used by newspaper publishers to produce advertisements, posters and even wedding invitations until the 1970s.
Accession number
Collection type


Public comments

Be the first to comment on this object record.

Google reCaptchaThis site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.