Breitkopf, John Gottlieb Immanuel

, an ingenious printer, letter-founder, and bookseller of Leipsic, was born in that city, Nov. 23, 17 It. An accidental perusal of a work by Albert Durer, in which the shape of the letters is deduced from mathematical principles, appears to have suggested to him some valuable improvements in the art of casting types, which gave his printing-office and foundery great reputation. He was also the first who cast musical types, now so common, although they possess so little of the beauty or -accuracy of copper-plates as to be seldom used. He also contrived to print maps with moveable types, and even to cQpy portraits by the same means, but neither of these were found of much utility. He was better employed in 1793, in endeavouring to print the Chinese characters on moveable types, and succeeded so far as to exhibit specimens, which were much admired. He is said also to have discovered some improvements in the composition of type-metal, and the process of melting and casting, but what these were he concealed. He died Jan. 28, 1794. In 1774, he published a small treatise, containing a refutation of the opinion of those who pretend that printing was first employed at Florence, Wirtzburg, or Antwerp. In 1784, he published the first part of a work, entitled “An Attempt to illustrate the origin of Playing-cards, the introduction of paper made from linen, and the invention of engraving on wood in Europe.” The latter part of this work was finished, but not published, before his death. His last publication was a small “ | Treatise on Bibliography, &c.” published in 1793, and containing extracts from his larger works, with his reasons for retaining the present German characters, and a refutation of some assertions respecting typography. 1

1 Dict. Hist. Rees’s Cyclopsdia.