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Church Typesetting Machine, 1822

Started by Dave Hughes, October 26, 2022, 09:20:01 AM

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Dave Hughes

Widely considered to be the first typesetting machine:

This description is taken from my City & Guilds thesis (c.1979): A History of Mechanical Composition

The first patented composing machine was Church's Composing Machine, 1822. This machine was probably never built, but detailed plans were forwarded to the patent office.

It involved founders' type being stored in inclined channels, and released by means of a keyboard. Lines produced on this machine were completely unjustified, this being carried out by a second compositor by hand.

William Church suggested that the type matter produced on his machine be scrapped after each printing, and fresh type cast. A clockwork mechanism powered the machine, as electricity supply was virtually non-existent in 1822.

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