chain printer An obsolete type of solid-font line printer in which the font was etched or engraved on small plates linked together to form a chain. The chain was connected around two sprocket wheels so that the straight part of the chain between the wheels ran parallel to the paper and spanned the line to be printed. This was one of the first types of computer printer to use the hit-on-the-fly principle, developed in the mid-1950s: the chain carrying the type font moved continuously at high speed relative to the paper, and the characters were printed by briefly impacting the paper and an inked ribbon against the moving type font. The chain printer was superseded by the train printer.
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