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First Typesetting Machine?

Started by Mechanic, November 08, 2008, 10:04:09 PM

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I found the following information in an internet advertisement for a "Certificate Vignette". The certificate also includes an illustration of the machine. To see the illustration, before it is sold, go to

In 1857, a U.S. patent was issued for the design of a typesetting machine invented by Timothy Alden of New York (No. 18,175). This is the first such machine that actually operated. The type was arranged in cells around the circumference of a horizontal wheel. As the wheel revolved, several receivers also started to rotate. The desired type was picked up and dropped in proper order in a line.

The Alden family was the sixth in descent from John Alden, of "Mayflower" fame. Timothy Alden invented a composing and distributing machine. His idea was to arrange the type in cells around the circumference of a horizontal wheel. By the rotation of the wheel, several receivers are also made to rotate, and these pick up the proper types from their respective cells. His brother, Henry W. Alden, made many improvements after his death in 1858.
George Finn (Mechanic)
Gold Coast

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