The Ludlow Typograph may be termed a semi-mechanical composing machine. It provides a casting unit but no keyboard. The average installation consists of cabinets with cases containing matrices of the various type designs and sizes; spaces; matrix-assembling sticks; and one or more casting machines.
The matrices are assembled and justified by hand in the Ludlow stick,
automatically cast in the form of a slug, and then distributed back into
the case by hand. The Ludlow is suitable for general jobbing and display
work, and also for many kinds of business forms which have horizontal
and vertical rules.
To cast a Ludlow slug, a compositor gathers the matrices required and
places them in the Ludlow stick. When all the matrices for the line have
been placed in the stick, the spaces are placed between the words. The
stick containing the line of justified matrices is put into a groove on
the top of the machine and locked in position. A starting lever sets the
mechanism in motion. The mold moves to the casting postition, metal is
pumped into the mold, and the slug is cast. The stick is then taken off
the machine, and the matrices distributed. Meanwhile, the slug is trimmed
at the foot and finally delivered onto the galley.