Linotype Machine

Theodore Low De Vinne was one of the first people to use the linotype machine to publish books in 1891 (Britannica, 2022). The Linotype machine was invented by Ottmar Mergenthaler in 1884 (Centre, 2022). This machine is a typesetting machine in that characters are placed in a finished line in order to print faster than putting each letter by letter like previous machines (Britannica, 2022). This new machine was revolutionary because it cut down on cost, time, labor, and space, revolutionizing typesetting and publishing (Centre, 2022). One person was now able to print at the speed of six people setting type by hand, this meant that production was able to increase tremendously. With increased production comes an influx of more products. Newspapers were previously limited to eight pages, and now they could be a lot longer (Alhairderi, 2013). Having more space and access to printing and publishing more, meaning that information was easily distributed. The masses were able to access current politics, news, and educational material. Education was made available to a lot more people, and literacy increased tremendously in the United States (Alhairderi, 2013). Theodore Low De Vinne used this opportunity to publish books a lot faster and more efficiently. The Linotype machine became one of the primary methods for typesetting in the late 19th century. They were used primarily for small-sized text like books (Centre, 2022).


Alhairderi, Jienne. “The Invention of the Linotype Machine (Jienne Alhaideri ’13) – from Tablet to Tablet: A History of the Book.” Google Sites,

Centre, Trafford Local Studies. “What Is a Linotype Machine?” Omeka RSS,–broadheath/what-is-a-linotype-machine-#:~:text=The%20new%20machine%20cut%20down,and%20periodicals%20to%20increase%20production.

The Linotype Company, “The Linotype Composing Machine,” Exploring Trafford’s Heritage , accessed April 5, 2022,

“Linotype.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.,

Discussion — 2 Responses

  • Liza Wingfield 04/14/2022 on 11:50 AM

    Great information Summer! Learning about the Linotype Machine definitely made a lot of sense to me about how printing has developed to where we are today. I am glad to have learned that this one of the earliest forms of printing that is responsible for the awareness of politics, news, education etc. One thing that particularly stands out to me about this development was its ability to increase literacy in the United States. For obvious reasons this is extremely important and helpful.

  • Eryn Szwarckop 04/15/2022 on 10:13 PM

    Hi Summer! Your point on how this machine caught down time and cost is so interesting to me. By the looks of it, that machine looks like it has so many parts and functions, that I could argue that just by its appearance alone, it would increase cost and time. During its time period, I do wonder how much it actually cost to make and build this machine. By also looking at this machine, we are able to see just how far we have come in technology, as we now can print things so quickly. I have always wondered what it would have been like to live during this time period, and to see how things were created without modern day technology!

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