Ottmar Mergenthaler

Ottmar Mergenthaler
Ottmar Mergenthaler

Ottmar Mergenthaler
Born May 11, 1854 (1854-05-11)
Died October 28, 1899 (1899-10-29)
Cause of death tuberculosis
Nationality German
Occupation inventor
Known for Linotype
Awards John Scott Medal (1891)

Ottmar Mergenthaler (May 11, 1854 – October 28, 1899) was an inventor who has been called a second Gutenberg because of his invention of the Linotype machine, the first device that could easily and quickly set complete lines of type for use in printing presses. This machine revolutionized the art of printing.

Born in Hachtel, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Mergenthaler became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1878.


Life and career

Mergenthaler was born in Hachtel, Württemberg, Germany. He was the third son of a school teacher, Johann Georg Mergenthaler from Hohenacker near the city of Waiblingen.

He was apprenticed to a watchmaker in Bietigheim before immigrating to the United States in 1872 to work with his cousin August Hahl in Washington, D.C. Mergenthaler eventually moved with Hahl's shop to Baltimore, MD. In 1878, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

He invented the Linotype machine in 1886, a machine that allowed an operator to automatically set Brass matrix, which revolutionized the printing industry. Before Mergenthaler's invention of the Linotype in 1884, no newspaper in the world had more than eight pages.

He died of tuberculosis in Baltimore in 1899.


An operational Linotype machine is on display at the Baltimore Museum of Industry, in the museum's print shop. Baltimore's vocational high school, Mergenthaler Vocational Technical Senior High School, which opened in 1953, is named after him, although it is commonly referred to simply as "MERVO".

Mergenthaler Hall on the Homewood Campus of the Johns Hopkins University was constructed in 1940-41 with money provided by Eugene and Mrs. Ottmar Mergenthaler, son and widow of Ottmar Mergenthaler.


  • Basil Kahan: Ottmar Mergenthaler – The Man and his Machine; Oak Knoll Press, New Castle (DE), 2000 – ISBN 1-58456-007-x

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ottmar Mergenthaler — (* 11. Mai 1854 in Hachtel, heute Stadtteil von Bad Mergentheim; † 28. Oktober 1899 in Baltimore) war Uhrmacher und ist der Erfinder der Linotype Setzmaschine …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ottmar Mergenthaler — (né le 10 mai 1854 à Hachtel et décédé le 28 octobre 1899 à Baltimore) est un inventeur allemand qui a été appelé le second Gutenberg pour son invention de la linotype en 1 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ottmar Mergenthaler — Ottmar Mergenthaler. Ottmar Mergenthaler (Hachtel, 10 de mayo de 1854 Baltimore, 28 de octubre de 1899) fue un inventor alemán. Nació en Hachtel, Württemberg, Alemania, tercer hijo de un maestro de escuela y aprendiz de relojero anterior a su… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Ottmar Mergenthaler — (Hachtel, 10 de mayo de 1854 Baltimore, 28 de octubre de 1899) fue un inventor alemán. Relojero de oficio, en 1872 se trasladó a Estados Unidos y en 1884 inventó la linotipia, máquina usada en la composición tipográfica …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Ottmar Mergenthaler — noun United States inventor (born in Germany) of the Linotype machine (1854 1899) • Syn: ↑Mergenthaler • Instance Hypernyms: ↑inventor, ↑discoverer, ↑artificer …   Useful english dictionary

  • Ottmar Mergenthaler — linotype typesetting …   Inventors, Inventions

  • Mergenthaler Vocational Technical Senior High School — Mergenthaler Vocational–Technical High School Reimagining Excellence Address 3500 Hillen Road …   Wikipedia

  • Mergenthaler Linotype Company — An 1896 Mergenthaler Linotype stock certificate The Mergenthaler Linotype Company is a corporation founded in the United States in 1886 to market the linecaster invented by Ottmar Mergenthaler. With the company s primary product, the Linotype… …   Wikipedia

  • Mergenthaler Linotype Company — La Mergenthaler Linotype Company est un société fondée aux États Unis en 1886 pour vendre la machine de composition automatique inventée par Ottmar Mergenthaler. Grâce la machine Linotype, elle est devenue la plus grande société dans l outillage… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mergenthaler — noun United States inventor (born in Germany) of the Linotype machine (1854 1899) • Syn: ↑Ottmar Mergenthaler • Instance Hypernyms: ↑inventor, ↑discoverer, ↑artificer * * * /merr geuhn thaw leuhr/; Ger. /merdd geuhn tah leuhrdd/, n. Ottmar …   Useful english dictionary

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