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Mergenthaler's Linotype
1880s

Setting "lines o' type" by machine
In 1886, German-born immigrant Ottmar Mergenthaler solved the problem of mechanizing typesetting with the invention of the Linotype machine. By bringing brass matrices into brief contact with a molten but fast-cooling alloy, the Linotype rapidly molded column widths of type--or "lines o' type." By speeding up the printing process, the Linotype fostered a dramatic expansion of all areas of publishing. This machine is the only surviving example of the very first manufactured Linotype machine.

Notes
Gift of the Mergenthaler Linotype Co.
Ottmar Mergenthaler, born May 11, 1854, Hachtel, Wurttemberg [Germany]; died October 28, 1899, Baltimore
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Learn more!
· Ottmar Mergenthaler
· Printing and Graphic Arts, an NMAH Exhibition Hall

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