#3062 – 1996 32c Pioneers of Communication: Ottmar Mergenthaler

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U.S. #3062
32¢ Ottmar Mergenthaler
Pioneers of Communication

Issue Date: February 22, 1996
City: New York, NY
Quantity: 23,292,500
Printed By: Ashton-Potter USA
Printing Method:
Lithographed
Perforations:
11.1 x 11
Color: Multicolored
 
Ottmar Mergenthaler was born in Württemberg, Germany, in 1854. As a youth he apprenticed as a watchmaker. In 1872, he emigrated to the United States and took a job in a scientific instrument shop; he became a naturalized citizen in 1878. With this background, Mergenthaler began creating a mechanical means for setting printing type, which would eliminate the time-consuming chore of setting it by hand.
 
Mergenthaler accomplished this task by inventing the Linotype, a keyboard-operated machine that assembles metal molds of letters to create entire lines of text in a single unit. When a line is completed, the operator presses a key which sends it to be cast in molten metal, usually lead. When the metal cools, it forms a line of type with raised letters called a slug. Both the slug and the molds are automatically sorted by mechanical means. After it is used for printing, a slug is melted down and used again.
 
Patented in 1884, the first 12 Linotype machines were installed at the New York Tribune in 1886. Linotype quickly spread throughout the industry, reducing printing costs greatly, and lowering consumer prices for newspapers, books, and magazines. This process is still used in many third world countries.
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U.S. #3062
32¢ Ottmar Mergenthaler
Pioneers of Communication

Issue Date: February 22, 1996
City: New York, NY
Quantity: 23,292,500
Printed By: Ashton-Potter USA
Printing Method:
Lithographed
Perforations:
11.1 x 11
Color: Multicolored
 
Ottmar Mergenthaler was born in Württemberg, Germany, in 1854. As a youth he apprenticed as a watchmaker. In 1872, he emigrated to the United States and took a job in a scientific instrument shop; he became a naturalized citizen in 1878. With this background, Mergenthaler began creating a mechanical means for setting printing type, which would eliminate the time-consuming chore of setting it by hand.
 
Mergenthaler accomplished this task by inventing the Linotype, a keyboard-operated machine that assembles metal molds of letters to create entire lines of text in a single unit. When a line is completed, the operator presses a key which sends it to be cast in molten metal, usually lead. When the metal cools, it forms a line of type with raised letters called a slug. Both the slug and the molds are automatically sorted by mechanical means. After it is used for printing, a slug is melted down and used again.
 
Patented in 1884, the first 12 Linotype machines were installed at the New York Tribune in 1886. Linotype quickly spread throughout the industry, reducing printing costs greatly, and lowering consumer prices for newspapers, books, and magazines. This process is still used in many third world countries.