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Mergenthaler Linotype Model 14 - from the Howard Iron Works Collection


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Mergenthaler Linotype Model 14 Linecaster - Brooklyn, NY

Serial No. 54070, Age 1939

German-born Ottmar Merganthaler (1854-1899), a watchmaker apprentice, came to America in 1872. He first settled in Washington DC, then moved to Baltimore to join his cousin, August Hahl. Mergenthaler later became a partner in the business making various fine scientific instruments - a perfect fit for this talented young man.

One of the projects Mergenthaler took on was to improve upon a typesetter designed by the famed inventor, Charles T. Moore. After numeruous trials and errors, in 1884, Mergenthaler patented his first Linotype machine. The concept of using brass molds (matrice), composing on a keyboard, and hot lead casting a line of type, all on one machine, was entirely new and revolutionary.

By 1886, and many improvements later, on July 3 of that year, for the first time, Mergenthaler's Linotype was tasked to typeset one section of the New York Tribune - thanks to Whitelaw Reid, owner of the paper, who was one of Mergenthaler's early and strongest supporters.

The news about the new and revolutionary machine quickly spread like wildfiire throughout the newspaper industry. Linotype became a mainstay in the composing rooms in every newspaper, book and magazine printers worldwide. Thomas Edison called it “the Eighth Wonder of The World”. Sadly, by the 1970s, most of them had been decommissioned.

Our LInotype Model 14 was acquired from Watkins Printing, Logan, Utah, and is now a part of our museum's Watkins Collection which also includes an Adams Acorn Press and St. Louis Foundry "Washington" press.


Mergenthaler Linotype Model 14 Linecaster - Brooklyn, NY

Age:

Serial No.:

Acquired:

1939

54070

2013


 
 

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