Muller Martini, based in Switzerland, manufactures web offset printing presses, bookbinding equipment, newspaper inserting systems, mail room delivery systems and other printing related equipment.
Manufacturing facilities are located in Switzerland, Germany and the United States. Muller Martini employs approximately 4,000 people in manufacturing and sales/service support positions in several countries.
Hans Müller in Zofingen, Switzerland started manufacturing bookbinding equipment in 1946 under the name Grapha Maschinenfabrik. The first machine produced was a hand-fed saddle stitcher, later modernized by the “Swiss Girl” automatic feeder, which could be disengaged and tilted back when not in use. Grapha exhibited its first fully automatic saddle stitcher with in-line trimmer at Drupa in 1954.
During the same time, the company was working on the development of an adhesive binder.
In 1955, the company incorporated and changed its name to Grapha Maschinenfabrik Hans Müller A. G. That same year Muller sold its first machine in the United States. Other equipment was added, and in 1961 large-scale production of newspaper and magazine inserting machines was started.
As Muller expanded, new manufacturing, sales and service facilities were set up abroad. A United States subsidiary, the Hans Muller Corp. was established in 1967.
Martini joined the Muller organization in 1969. Founded by Friedrich von Martini, inventor of a precision rifle, Martini began manufacturing folding and stitching machines in 1850. Martini introduced its Book Sewing Machine in 1897, and more than 10,000 have been produced to date.
The Martini automobile, powered by a Martini-designed internal combustion engine, was also introduced in 1897. Automobile production stopped in 1934, when the company decided to concentrate on book binding equipment. Adhesive binding machines were developed by Martini in 1941.
Muller Martini developed its first offset web press for business forms in 1972 and is now a manufacturer of web presses for direct mail promotional graphics and commercial work.
In 1973, Muller Martini USA offices relocated to Hauppauge, Long Island.
At the same time, the company name was changed to Muller Martini Corp. A network of sales, product management and service personnel were also established throughout the United States with Regional Offices in the Atlanta, Chicago, and San Francisco areas.
The Thorne/Simplex/Unitype Type-Setting Machine is now largely forgotten, even in otherwise thorough histories of type.
So completely did the hot metal composing technologies of the Linotype and the Monotype dominate the 20th century that the transition from hand to machine composition is now usually seen as an instantaneous event dated to the introduction of the Linotype in 1886 (or 1890).
Yet the Thorne (later called the Simplex, and later still the Unitype) deserves to be remembered.
It worked. It was commercially successful. It was manufactured in quantity (1,500 to 2,000 machines). Its makers survived for over three decades (Thorne patented it in 1880, and the successor company appeared in business directories until at least 1918.
Imagine that it is the mid 1880s and you are responsible for a printing establishment. For more than 400 years, metal type has dominated printing (with some competition from lithography in recent years).
Metal type is the basis of your shop and your life. At the same time, type has always been an expensive, precious commodity.
Composition – typesetting – by hand is even more expensive. Making type more cheaply is something you can’t do – that’s the typefounders’ business. But setting type more cheaply is something that you’d very much like to be able to do in your own shop.
In such an environment, the obvious thing you need is a machine to set type.
The Thorne was just such a machine. It let you set type from a keyboard. It assisted in the justification of lines, Perhaps most importantly, it automated the tedious distribution of type for re-use after printing.
It was compact, probably quiet (I suspect that no one in living memory has heard one operate), and would have fit well into any composing room.
It even had sophisticated keyboard features for entering entire words simultaneously which have not been matched even by computers today.
As the Unitype selling agents Wood & Nathan Co. said in 1910, it “does not compel the printer to take up methods which are foreign to his training, but with cheap type and type of foundry excellence it adds its power of speedy composition without disorganizing the methods of the composing room.”
Read on via Thorne / Simplex / Unitype
It was there in the first ever glossary of slang, the collection of criminal jargon published c.1532, and it’s still going strong.
Booze: Alcoholic drink, and as a verb, to drink.
It came from Dutch buizen, to drink to excess (and beyond that buise, a large drinking vessel) and the first examples were spelt bouse.
Over the centuries it spread its wings.