200 years ago, the Englishman William Church patented the typesetting machine

(ORDO NEWS) — Exactly 200 years ago, an American (and later, British) engineer named William Church patented the typesetting machine.

This invention became the world’s first prototype of a typographic typesetting machine. However, the device did not become commercially successful… The first patented typographic typewriter may never even have been built.

Engineer William Church (William Church) from Boston, USA, developed a prototype of the “Church Typesetting Machine” (Church Typesetting Machine). This machine was the first type-setting machine in the world.

However, in the States, no one was interested in his invention, and so the man went to the UK. Thus, exactly 200 years ago on March 24, 1822, William Church received British patent no. 4664 titled “Improved Printing Machine”.

The patent consisted of three parts: “Firstly, a machine for casting printed characters, and also for stacking them in letter cells, so that a letter of the same denomination is arranged on the side in rows, ready to be transferred to a composite machine.

The second part of the installation consists of a machine with which individual fonts are selected and compiled into words and sentences. The third part of the installation is a printing press and stacking of sheets”

Church’s machine was not ubiquitous

Unfortunately, Church’s devices did not interest anyone and did not have commercial success. Moreover, the first patented printing press was probably never even built, and its design and operation are known only from a patent.

Nevertheless, it became the basis for subsequent, more convenient and “advanced” machines. These devices printed from 5000 to 12000 characters per hour, while with manual typing, productivity above 1500 characters per hour was unattainable.


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