linotype slugs

One of my first jobs after graduating from high school  was at a local newspaper.  I worked days and attended college classes at night.  After class, I took tickets and worked in the concession stand of the local drive-in theater.

Although I was a teletype operator and proofreader at the Farmington Daily Times, there were other duties. Among these duties I sometimes loaded the ‘pigs’ (metal ingots which would be fed into the linotype machine and melted to make newspaper ‘slugs’).

The lead ingots used by Linotypes weigh roughly 22 pounds each and are commonly referred to as “pigs.” The ingot is suspended by a hook and chain over a melting pot. As the level in the pot drops, the pig is gradually lowered into the pot, maintaining a constant level of molten metal. A counterweight serves as a signal to the operator that another ingot is needed.
Source: Hot Type Cold Type

The days of linotypes and hot metal and ‘slugs’ are gone.  Everything is computerized now.

Above are three ‘slugs’ from my newspaper days.


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