The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Ottmar Mergenthaler

Ottmar Mergenthaler (May 10, 1854October 28, 1899) was a German inventor.

He was born in Hachtel, Württemberg, Germany, the third son of a school teacher and apprenticed to a watchmaker before moving to Baltimore, Maryland in 1872. In 1878, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. He invented the linotype in 1886, a machine that allowed an operator to automatically set type, which revolutionized the printing industry. He died of tuberculosis in Baltimore in 1899.

A building is named after him at Johns Hopkins University, as well as a high school in Baltimore.

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Last updated: 05-17-2005 04:12:10