Mergenthaler, Ottmar 1854 - 1899
At the age of fourteen he started his apprenticeship as a watchmaker with his uncle. By the time he was seventeen he had completed his apprenticeship and had made the journey to America. He arrived in Washington D.C. in 1872 where he joined his cousin August Hahl, who had already opened a shop. A few years later they moved to Baltimore where they continued to make and repair watches and also make models for inventors who were required to supply models of their inventions when applying for a Patent.
There had been several attempts at desiging a machine that would simplify the process of composing and setting type set, used in printing presses.