Tolbert Lanston (tŏl´bərt), 1844–1913, American inventor, b. Troy, Ohio. Lanston spent his youth on an Iowa farm and served in the military throughout the Civil War. For 22 years he was a clerk in the U.S. Pension Office, and during that time he studied law and gained admission to the bar. His first patents for his typesetting machine, the Monotype (see printing), were granted in 1885. Lanston resigned his government position and worked for the rest of his life at perfecting and manufacturing his invention, which was marketed in 1897.