Claus Walther Gerhardt

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Claus Walther Gerhardt (born June 15, 1926 in Leipzig ; † January 1, 2014 in Darmstadt ) was a German printer and first master mint.


Gerhardt was born the son of an artist and printer. After school, he trained as a printer in his father's company. He successfully completed this with the title "Mint Master" from the IHK Leipzig . Three years later, this profession was officially recognized as a training profession after Gerhardt had submitted an application to the Saxon Ministry of the Interior. In 1954 he and his father brought the graphic workshop, which has been internationally known since the 1930s, from Leipzig via Hamburg to Darmstadt. The print shop was based in the publishing district on Riedstrasse. The print shop has been called GWH Offizin since then. Embossing and letterpress printing. The print shop was sold in 1977. A collection of coined forms built up by Gerhardt . Utility graphics cabinet pieces 1920–1970 has been in the German Museum of Books and Writing since 2008 .

In the 1960s, Gerhardt studied book, printing, art and cultural history at the University of Mainz as well as printing machine construction at the TH Darmstadt . He received his doctorate in 1970 on a topic in the history of printing. From 1971 to 1993 he taught as a lecturer at the University of Mainz.

Gerhardt was co-founder in 1983 and until 1999 chairman of the international working group on printing and media history. Most recently he was its honorary chairman.

He was also the only publicly appointed and sworn expert for printing and embossing. He was also a board member of the Darmstädter Kunstverein for a long time.



  • Why was the Gutenberg press only replaced by a better system after more than 350 years? In: A. Ruppel (Ed.): Gutenberg year book. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1971, ISSN  0072-9094 , pp. 43-57.
  • The letterpress. Hiersemann, Stuttgart 1975, ISBN 3-7772-7521-2 .
  • Contributions to the technical history of the book industry. Polygraph-Verlag, Frankfurt / M. 1976, ISBN 3-87641-195-5 .
  • Does Gutenberg's invention still have any value today? In: A. Ruppel (Ed.): Gutenberg year book. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1978, pp. 212-217.


  • Roger Münch: A life for printing technology in theory and practice. In: German printer . No. 18, Deutscher Drucker Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Ostfildern June 1, 2006, ISSN  0012-1096 , p. 57.
  • The passion for print drove him. In: Darmstädter Echo , January 11, 2014, p. 15 ( online - link broken).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Collection of Dr. Gerhardt. 129 embossed prints for packaging and advertising.
  2. The beginnings of embossing. A contribution to the history of printing machines and printing processes. Mainz, Phil. F., dissertation from June 9, 1970.
  3. Internationaler Arbeitskreis Druck- und Mediengeschichte IADM eV
  4. Information from the Federal President's Office