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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index M > Ottmar Mergenthaler Quotes

Thumbnail of Ottmar Mergenthaler (source)
Ottmar Mergenthaler
(11 May 1854 - 28 Oct 1899)

German-American inventor who invented the Linotype machine which revolutionized typesetting, enabling one operator at a keyboard to do the work of three men setting moveable type. The machine cast each line as a bar.


Science Quotes by Ottmar Mergenthaler (7 quotes)

Photo of Ottmar Merganthaler, head and shoulders, facing front, b/w
Age 25 in 1879 (source)
I am convinced, gentlemen, that unless some method of printing can be designed which requires no type at all, the method embodied in our invention will be the one used in the future; not alone because it is cheaper, but mainly because it is destined to secure superior quality.
— Ottmar Mergenthaler
From short Speech at the Chamberlain Hotel, Washington, D.C. (Feb 1885), concluding the exhibition of his own Linotype invention. As given in Carl Schlesinger (ed.), 'Mr. Mergenthaler’s Speech', The Biography of Ottmar Merganthaler: Inventor of the Linotype (1989), 20. [Accurately predicting the future of photo and digital typesetting. —Webmaster]
Science quotes on:  |  Cheap (13)  |  Confidence (75)  |  Design (203)  |  Embody (18)  |  Future (467)  |  Invention (400)  |  Method (531)  |  Prediction (89)  |  Printing (25)  |  Quality (139)  |  Require (229)  |  Superior (88)  |  Type (171)  |  Typesetting (2)

The history of our enterprise…is one of evolution. We started by printing one letter at a time and justifying the sentences afterwards; then we impressed into papier maché one word at a time, justified it, and made a type from it by after process. Next we impressed a whole line and justified it, still leaving the production of the type as a second operation; but now we compose a line, justify and cast it all in one machine and by one operator.
— Ottmar Mergenthaler
From short Speech at the Chamberlain Hotel, Washington, D.C. (Feb 1885), concluding the exhibition of his own Linotype invention. As given in Carl Schlesinger (ed.), 'Mr. Mergenthaler’s Speech', The Biography of Ottmar Merganthaler: Inventor of the Linotype (1989), 20. [Describing the evolution of his Linotype invention. The word “justifying”, when used specifically for typesetting, refers to increasing the spaces between words to achieve a uniform overall line length for each row in a column. —Webmaster]
Science quotes on:  |  Cast (69)  |  Compose (20)  |  Development (441)  |  Enterprise (56)  |  Evolution (635)  |  History (716)  |  Impress (66)  |  Improvement (117)  |  Individual (420)  |  Invention (400)  |  Justify (26)  |  Letter (117)  |  Line (100)  |  Linotype (3)  |  Machine (271)  |  Operation (221)  |  Operator (4)  |  Print (20)  |  Process (439)  |  Sentence (35)  |  Start (237)  |  Type (171)  |  Typesetting (2)  |  Whole (756)  |  Word (650)

This invention has been originated in the land which gave birth to the telegraph, the telephone, the Hoe press and the reaper; everybody will know that it came from the United States.
— Ottmar Mergenthaler
From short Speech at the Chamberlain Hotel, Washington, D.C. (Feb 1885), concluding the exhibition of his own Linotype invention. As given in Carl Schlesinger (ed.), 'Mr. Mergenthaler’s Speech', The Biography of Ottmar Merganthaler: Inventor of the Linotype (1989), 20. [Thanking his funders for support that honored their country. —Webmaster]
Science quotes on:  |  Birth (154)  |  Hoe (2)  |  Invention (400)  |  Land (131)  |  Linotype (3)  |  Originate (39)  |  Printing Press (5)  |  Reaper (4)  |  Telegraph (45)  |  Telephone (31)  |  United States (31)

We are going to have full success for the reason that we have attacked the problem in an entirely different way than did those who have failed.
— Ottmar Mergenthaler
Referring to his own typesetting machine development. From short Speech at the Chamberlain Hotel, Washington, D.C. (Feb 1885), concluding the exhibition of his own Linotype invention. As given in Carl Schlesinger (ed.), 'Mr. Mergenthaler’s Speech', The Biography of Ottmar Merganthaler: Inventor of the Linotype (1989), 19.
Science quotes on:  |  Confidence (75)  |  Different (595)  |  Entirely (36)  |  Failure (176)  |  Invention (400)  |  Problem (731)  |  Reason (766)  |  Success (327)

We are working in a field which is strewn with the wrecks and failures of former efforts in the same direction.
— Ottmar Mergenthaler
Referring to typesetting machine development. From short Speech at the Chamberlain Hotel, Washington, D.C. (Feb 1885), concluding the exhibition of his own Linotype invention. As given in Carl Schlesinger (ed.), 'Mr. Mergenthaler’s Speech', The Biography of Ottmar Merganthaler: Inventor of the Linotype (1989), 19.
Science quotes on:  |  Effort (243)  |  Failure (176)  |  Invention (400)  |  Wreck (10)

We have a new type for every issue of a paper, an advantage which can hardly be overrated.
— Ottmar Mergenthaler
From short Speech at the Chamberlain Hotel, Washington, D.C. (Feb 1885), concluding the exhibition of his own Linotype invention. As given in Carl Schlesinger (ed.), 'Mr. Mergenthaler’s Speech', The Biography of Ottmar Merganthaler: Inventor of the Linotype (1989), 20. [Pointing out that a Linotype casts new lines of type for every newspaper article, instead of setting by reusing worn moveable type. The Linotype advantage is as-new clarity when used for printing each new issue. —Webmaster]
Science quotes on:  |  Advantage (144)  |  Issue (46)  |  New (1273)  |  Newspaper (39)  |  Type (171)

When I started on this problem I surveyed the field and selected the best road, regardless of the roads which others have taken. I knew the direction in which others had attempted to solve the problem, and was careful not to fall into the same rut which had led every previous effort into failure and ruin.
— Ottmar Mergenthaler
From short Speech at the Chamberlain Hotel, Washington, D.C. (Feb 1885), concluding the exhibition of his own Linotype invention. As given in Carl Schlesinger (ed.), 'Mr. Mergenthaler’s Speech', The Biography of Ottmar Merganthaler: Inventor of the Linotype (1989), 20.
Science quotes on:  |  Attempt (266)  |  Best (467)  |  Careful (28)  |  Direction (185)  |  Effort (243)  |  Failure (176)  |  Fall (243)  |  Invention (400)  |  Lead (391)  |  Previous (17)  |  Problem (731)  |  Road (71)  |  Ruin (44)  |  Rut (2)  |  Same (166)  |  Select (45)  |  Solve (145)  |  Start (237)  |  Survey (36)


See also:

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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