A Few of His Favorite Things — Cagle

Ernie got a taste of printing at an early age as his father, August, and uncle, Ernest, started E.G. Lindner Co. The brothers sold and rebuilt printing equipment and specialized in rehabbing Linotype machines. Young Ernie joined the fold as an apprentice machinist and soon began his printing equipment collection.

Although he left the printing field periodically—trying his hand at selling industrial hardware, book-ended by two stints in the service, where he flew 17 combat missions in World War II and 66 more in Korea—his love for printing machines didn’t dwindle.

Among the pieces he has amassed over the years: an 1850 Imperial press hiding in the basement of a tobacconist’s shop in England. He discovered an 1875 Grasshopper hand-powered news press in a run-down print shop in Calico, AR, and most recently he acquired a tough-to-find 1840 Columbian hand press, found in the basement of a print shop in India.

One of his most beloved pieces was a Potter press, which has been displayed at the Smithsonian and is currently on display at a Los Angeles Times facility. The Potter was one of the first presses to churn out that newspaper.

When he wasn’t adding to his impressive laundry list of printing hardware, Ernie Lindner was busying himself with hobbies and pastimes most of us only dream of undertaking. His vast array of traveling experience includes a 10-year stint with a gas-balloon racing team, which flew over Germany, Lithuania, Russia, Australia and the United States. His adventurous spirit landed Ernie a spot as the national vice president of the Family Motor Coach Association, with his crowning glory a conversion of Gene Autry’s tour bus into a motor home.

Prior to his 1,700-mile trip, he joined an expedition to the North Pole at the tender age of 70. Two years later, he ventured to the South Pole. Did he rest in that one-year interim? Pretty much, as he only co-piloted a MIG jet over Moscow.

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