In Face of Depression Latest Thing in Typesetting Machinery Is Installed to Maintain the Plant at High Level

The Vineyard Gazette installed on Saturday a new Intertype machine—a typesetting machine embodying a great many recent improvements—and this addition to the plant was put into operation for the first time this week. The Intertype replaces the now old fashioned typesetting machine which the Gazette brought to the Island in the early summer of 1920, the first machine of the kind to be Set up on Martha’s Vineyard. During the intervening fifteen years, the original linotype had given loyal service and had set into type, one line at a time, thousand of columns of Island news and comment, the whole record of life and affairs on the Vineyard. But progress had long ago outstripped the old machine, and the difficulties of operation increased at the same time that hourly production declined. This spring, despite the continuance of the depression and the uncertain outlook, replacement became urgent if the Gazette plant was to be maintained in the necessary condition to serve the Island public.

The new Intertype is the third type setting machine to be brought to the Island. From 1920 to 1927 the Gazette was composed by one machine alone. In 1927 a new and far more versatile linotype was installed, making possible greatly improved typography, faster handling of news and advertisements, and larger capacity—in short, the general appearance and size of the Gazette as it now exists. The Intertype, replacing the earlier machine, is equipped with a single typeface and will be used to impose the text type of the newspaper.

To the lay eye, the Intertype does not differ greatly from the older typesetting machines in the Gazette office. Like them, it has a keyboard at which an operator sits and sets in motion operations which take melted type metal and cast it into lines of type ready for use in printing. Like them, its movements seem uncannily human. But the Intertype is smarter in appearance, emphasizing the trend of the most modern machinery, and it has many nice adjustments and new devices which make operation easier, and speed and accuracy greater. The contrast with the old machine it replaces, to the operator, is as great as the difference between running a venerable Model T Ford and the most recent Ford from the factory today. And the improvement in service and output may be gauged accordingly.

In Two Tremendous Crates

The new Intertype came to the Island in two tremendous packing cases which presented no mean problems of handling and trucking, and particularly of unloading at the Gazette office. These problems were solved readily by Jack Donnelly and his crew, despite the fact that they had to work in the rain while part of the machine was uncrated out of doors in order to be skidded through the Gazette office door.

A number of volunteers aided greatly in the work. Among those who turned to with a will were George Paul, Arthur Wagner, Hollis Fisher, Charles A. Teller, and Henry Minstrel.

The machine was erected and installed completely by George W. Soverino of the Boston office of the Intertype Corporation. Mr. Soverino is a veteran of the whole printing craft as well as of the typesetting machine industry. He is of Nantucket descent and has relatives on that Island. All the prominent figures in the mechanical departments of New England newspapers for years past have been friends of his. He recalled the old New Bedford Standard and Mercury office when both were on Union Street years ago. Among his friends was Charles H. Vinal, for many years mechanical superintendent of the New Bedford Standard, who set up the Gazette’s first typesetting machine in 1920 and later came to the Island at intervals to overhaul it.

Mr. Soverino began his work of putting the new machine together late Saturday afternoon, and left on the Sunday afternoon boat, the entire job completed without night work and without apparent haste. This was the quickest installation job yet to be made on a piece of printing machinery at the Gazette office.

The name “intertype” signifies a line-casting machine manufactured by the Intertype Corporation. The name “linotype”, although it has been accepted in the general vocabulary as loosely synonymous with the phrase “line-casting machine”, properly applies only to the particular machine made by the Mergenthaler Linotype Co. The president of the Intertype Corporation, Neal Dow Becker, with his family, was a summer resident of Edgartown a year or two ago.