Printing

Mergenthaler, Ottmar

Ottmar Mergenthaler arrived in the United States in 1872 with an extremely valuable store of technical know-how that he had developed as a watchmaker’s apprentice. Thirteen years later, he received a patent for his “Single-matrix” typesetting machine (i.e., the Blower), an invention that quickly changed the American printing industry, and, by extension, American culture as a whole. Eventually, the Linotype’s influence radiated beyond the U.S., leading to the Americanization of the British and international printing industries.

Miller, Henrich

A printer, journalist, bookseller, and translator who had traveled much of the eighteenth-century Atlantic world before beginning his publishing business in Philadelphia in the early 1760s, Henrich Miller counteracted ethnic isolationism among German immigrants and ensured their investment and enfranchisement in the emerging public sphere of early national America. From his ardent rejection of the Stamp Act to his enthusiastic support of American Independence, Miller did not merely witness and report the momentous political, civic, and cultural changes occurring in North America, but he actively shaped and participated in these events.

Ridder, Herman

Herman Ridder, the eldest son of German immigrants to New York. Largely self-educated, he entered the field of journalism as a young man, founding first a German-language Catholic newspaper and then the English-language Catholic News. In 1890 he bought into the New Yorker Staatszeitung, a distinguished daily of national – as well as local – renown. Influenced by the paper’s owner and editor, Oswald Ottendorfer, he became an entrepreneur in business, politics, and print technology.