[TUHS] Graphic Systems C/A/T phototypesetter

Armando Stettner aps at ieee.org
Tue Dec 10 17:28:49 AEST 2013

I actually have an other form of character storage drum: I guess it would be called a character storage disk: a glass disk holding the font glyphs(?) through which a light beam would expose the character onto the photo-sensitive paper.  I can send a picture of it if anybody is interested (and when I unearth it as I recently moved to Seattle)....


Sent from my iPad

> On Dec 9, 2013, at 22:21, Brian S Walden <tuhs at cuzuco.com> wrote:
> Look at United States Patent 4074285
> http://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/pdfs/US4074285.pdf
> Figure 1 is identical to the machine I ran at Whippany Bell Labs
> in the early to mid 80s. It was about 4 1/2 feet tall
> Figure 4 is the font wheel (seen as 16 in Fig 1) there were 4 distinct
> sectors, each with a different font. One with Times Roman, one with
> Times Roman Bold, one with Times Roman Italic and the last was the
> symbol fonts (math, greek chars, left hand (\lh right hand \(rh etc. and
> this one was made specifically for the Labs as it had a Bell Logo \(bs on it)
> The paper was a roll of photo paper, glossy on the text side, rough on
> the reverse, it was thick.  It would end up going into the cassette
> (20 in Fig 1) and would need to be developed. Not shown in the patent
> figures was the developing and drying apparatus.  At the end of 
> a job the exposed paper was in the cassette you'd remove
> it from the typesetter and put into a device with rollers that would pull
> it out and run it thru developer and fixer liquid chemicals.  Exiting
> that it would go into a dryer drum.
> After it was completly dry, as it was still a continuous roll, you
> would need to cut all the pages apart by hand (that is why there was
> the cut mark macro (.CM) is -ms so you could tell where to cut)
> As it came from a roll, no pages ever layed completely flat.
> The checmical baths were nasty smelling and it gummed up the rollers.
> You'd needed to regularly take the developer roller and gear guts into
> the janitor's closet and scrub it with a toothbrush in the slop sink
> under running water.
> By the second half of the 80s it was replaced by QMS PostScript
> laser printers.
>> From: "Jacob Goense" <dugo at xs4all.nl>
>> All, I'm looking for images of the cat device as mentioned several
>> times in the 7th edition manual, see e.g. TROFF(1)and CAT(4).
>> From what I gathered during my digs is that it should look like a
>> GSI 8400, but that didn't help. Anyone here who can help me find out
>> what these machines looked like? A picture would be the best, but
>> information on what to look for in images of unnamed typesetters will
>> do as well.
>> /Jacob
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