Linotype Machine: Why Did Edison Call It the “8th Wonder of the World”?
Back before the internet sent us all the news straight to our phones, everyone relied on newspapers to keep us informed. A century ago, the newspaper industry was big business. Rival publishers fought each other to get the news out faster and to sell more newspapers. The technology of the time, however, severely limited the publication process.
In 1886, Ottmar Mergenthaler, shown here in a colorized photograph, a German immigrant who resettled in Baltimore, debuted his revolutionary new invention, the Linotype machine. This machine radically transformed the newspaper industry, leading fellow inventor Thomas Edison to dub it the “8th Wonder of the World.” Let’s take a look at how the Linotype changed printing and why it was worthy of such praise.