• Tolbert Lanston's monotype machine

    Since Gutenberg, the metal letters that compose a printed page had to be picked by hand and then set into position. Tolbert's machine allows a person to type the text, which then prints out a perforated paper with patterns of holes that represent characters. This is then read by a second machine that reads the patterns and triggers brass letters to slide down from a bank into position on the printing plate.
  • Period: to

    Three inventions within a span of a couple of years revolutionized Gutenberg's printing press.

  • Ottmar Mergenthaler invented the one-operator linotype machine

    A year later, Ottmar Mergenthaler invented the one-operator linotype machine, which fuses the individual letters into a solid line (slug) of molten lead. Working with an entire line of text, rather than scores of individual letters, is much faster and produces more legible type. In addition, the slugs could be melted down and reused. The first linotype machine printed the New York Tribune in 1886.
  • Frederick Ives invented a way to reproduce photograph in print,

    Frederick Ives invented a way to reproduce photograph in print, called the halftone process — this involves a series of black and white dots, which like tiles in a mosaic, simulate a continuous image to the eye, with full ranges of gray.
  • Gutenberg's Printing Press

    Printing with movable type had existed in East Asia at least since 1377 when the Jikji, an abbreviated title of a Korean Buddhist document was printed in Korea during the Goryeo Dynasty, however, the invention had not spread to Europe where everything people read still had to be copied by hand or printed from wood blocks carved by hand. In about 1440, the German goldsmith, Johannes Gutenberg, developed a movable type. Gutenberg made separate pieces of metal type for each character to be printed.
  • The third revolution

    Two other printing revolutions later occurred. The third revolution came about 80 years later (early 1960s) with the photo-typesetting process that creates type by exposing film onto photosensitive paper.
  • The fourth printing revolution

    The fourth printing revolution occurred in the 1980s with digital printing, which made the desktop computer a printing press.