The Press: Linotype at 50

Fifty years ago last week, in the Park Row composing room of the New York Tribune, a bearded young German machinist named Ottmar Mergenthaler sat at an odd machine which looked like a cross between a power loom and a punch press. Beside him stood the Tribune's Editor Whitelaw Reid. As Ottmar Mergenthaler lightly tapped out letters on a keyboard before him, Mr. Reid heard the tinkling of brass type matrices falling into place. The rack of matrices was shunted to a bubbling pot of lead inside the machine. As Editor Reid looked on,...

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