Ottmar Mergenthaler, German-US typesetter

Ottmar Mergenthaler, German-US typesetter

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Credit: HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES LIBRARY/NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Ottmar Mergenthaler (1854-1899), German-US typesetter. Mergenthaler is best known as the inventor of the Linotype, the first fully-automated typesetting machine. Mergenthaler worked in a scientific instrument shop and, in 1886, after several other designs, created a machine that allowed an operator to automatically set metal type. The machine was called the Linotype because it cast an entire line of type at one time. This revolutionised the printing industry as it greatly reduced the time spent on typesetting, and became the dominant method in newspaper printing until the 1960s.

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