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Alois Auer Ritter von Welsbach

Alois Auer Ritter von Welsbach

*  1813 Berlin
† 1869 Wien

Alois Auer was born on May 11, 1813, in Wels in Upper Austria. Auer, a printer and lecturer for modern languages, became director of the Viennese k. k. Hof- und Staatsdruckerei (court and state printer) in 1841, whose types he renovated according to a typometrical system he developed himself. This system made possible printing in 500 native and 100 foreign alphabets and allowed for the ornamental styles of oriental alphabets. Under Auer's direction, the State Printer, which had been floundering up until then, blossomed into one of the the greatest of its kind, which prompted the government to let Auer take over the direction of the k. k. Porcelain factory in 1862. Already in 1864, Auer, who was in the meantime given hereditary knighthood, resigned his position as director and completely left the printing press in 1868. Auer died July 10, 1869, in Vienna. Many typographical inventions are attributed to Auer, including the Naturselbstdruck (printing of pictures not requiring a woodcut or an engraving), whose process he described in "Die Entdeckung des Naturselbstdrucks" ("The Discovery of the Naturselbstdruck") (1854). Moreover, he composed a French and an Italian grammar and published a series of typographical works.