Paige Compositor was an invention developed by James W. Paige between 1872–1888. Designed to replace the human typesetter of a printing press with a mechanical arm, the machine was not nearly as precise as it should have been and never turned a profit because of its complexity and continual need for adjustment based upon trial and error.
The Paige typesetting machine is notable for the $300,000 ($5,749,167 today) that Mark Twain invested in the failed endeavor. Twain, a former printer, invested not only the bulk of his book profits but also a large portion of the inheritance of Olivia Clemens, his wife. Many point to his over-investment in the Paige typesetting machine and other inventions as the cause of not only his family's financial decline but also the decline of his wit and humor.
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