Early Linotype composing machine, 1892

1892 in London
Linotype and Machinery Limited
Ottmar Mergenthaler

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Linotype composing machine, square base, 1892, with stand supports and electric motor, fount of single letter Bourgeois
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Early Model, "square base" Linotype composing machine, with stand supports and electric motor, fount of single letter Bourgeois No. 21 matrices, set of spacebands and solid mould Brevier 28 ems, 1892.

The Linotype printing machine was a linecasting machine developed by Ottmar Mergenthaler, a German-American inventor, in 1886. The Linotype was a hot metal typesetting system and the first printing machine that could easily and quickly set complete lines of type for use in printing presses. This machine revolutionized the art of printing and society. Linotype printing machines were the dominant form of printers for newspapers and magazines from their invention to the late 1900s, when they were largely replaced by photosetting machines and soon afterwards electronic software.

Linotype machines were initially sold by the Mergenthaler Linotype Company, established by Mergenthaler in 1886. A British offshoot company, the Linotype Company, was established in 1889, becoming Linotype & Machinery Ltd in 1903.

This is an early “square base” Linotype composing machine was made in London by the Linotype Company in 1892.


Printing & Writing
Object Number:
printing presses
  • tools and equipment
  • equipment
Linotype and Machinery Ltd.

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