From the late eighteenth century and for much of the nineteenth, there was little need to increase the speed of printing output for editions of books and pamphlets beyond what could be produced by a series of hand-presses working in tandem, except in the production of newspapers and large circulation magazines. For larger editions stereotyping increased hand-press output by eliminating the need for repeated typesetting when a book or magazine was printed on multiple presses working in tandem. But for newspapers, some of which issued several editions per day, mechanizing the printing process was necessary to increase circulation, especially since the large sheets used for newspaper were twice the size of the platen on most models of the popular Stanhope iron handpress, requiring two pulls to take one side through the press. Development of higher speed steam-powered printing presses enabled circulation of newspapers and magazines to increase dramatically.
The first widely-read account of machine printing appeared in Charles Knight's The Penny Magazine in 1833, the circulation of which reached as high as 200,000 printed copies, each of which it was estimated, may have been read by as many as five people, raising the circulation of this magazine to around a million--an unheard-of number early in the 19th century. Prior to Knight's account a good number of readers might have read an illustrated article published on October 26,1822 on the new printing technology used in the production of Bensley's The London Literary Gazette and Journal of the Belles Lettres, Arts, Politics, Etc. The Literary Gazette (Later renamed The London Literary Gazette) was the earliest periodical printed on a steam-driven press, as will be discussed later in this entry.
The earliest detailed account of the development of the machine press directed at printers was published within the early years of its development by the English printer and historian of printing Thomas Curson Hansard in his monumental book entitled Typographia: An Historical Sketch of the Origin and Progress of the Art of Printing; with Practical Directions for Conducting Every Department of an Office: with a description of Stereotype and Lithography, illustrated by Engravings, Biographical Notices, and Portraits.(1825). Hansard's work, which consisted of about 950 pages in large 8vo format, may be considered the most significant manual on printing after Moxon's Mechanick Exercises (1683-84). Writing just a little more than a decade after Konig invented the steam press, Hansard took a particular interest in the latest printing technology, devoting Chapter VI (pp. 637-688) to "Improved Manual Presses" and Chapter VII (pp. 689-714) to "Printing Machines". Hansard reviewed the history of the machines as he knew it and illustrated the latest machines as they rapidly evolved after Koenig. He ended his chapter with a description of a printing machine that he personally invented and had built by Napier, illustrating with a large folding plate (larger than any other plate in the book). Oddly, Hansard designed his machine to be operated by "two men turning a fly-wheel" rather than a steam engine. This machine, which Hansard called, after its manufacturer, "The Nay-Peer", was, according to Hansard, "more likely to succed in all its prentensions than any which has yet been offered to us; more praticularly as it supersedes the necessity of steam power" (p. 710).
For several years I have collected the incunabula of the earliest mechanized press, which, to me, at least, is as significant in the history of books as books produced during the first half-century of printing. Over this period of collecting I have sometimes wondered how the "machine press" was appreciated by printers during the decades of its introduction. In February 2015 I happened to be reading portions of master printer William Savage's A Dictionary of the Art of Printing (London, 1841) and I came across his entry beginning on p. 448 entitled simply "Machines". From Savage's dictionary, which was intended for members of the printing trades, I learned, what I suppose should have been obvious, that, in addition to the speed advantage, cylinder or machine presses also provided the very significant advantage of being able to print on sheets of paper of much larger size than could be printed on any hand press. Here is the beginning of Savage's long article. Note that as late as 1841, decades after Koenig developed the cylinder press, Savage regarded machine presses as very novel, and this was certainly the case, as they represented the most significant advance in speed of production since Gutenberg's invention of the handpress circa 1450:
"MACHINES. Cylindrical printing, or, as it is generally termed, Machine printing, is a new mode of obtaining impressions from types, the introduction of which took place in the year 1814. It has caused a great revolution in the art, from the facilities which it affords for printing sheets of paper of a size of which no press worked by manual labour is capable, nor, were it capable, is the strength of one man equal to the exertion requisite for the pressure necessary to produce a respectable impression. In addition to this advantage of printing sheets of such larger dimensions, it possess the power of multiplying impressions so rapidly as to appear like the work of magic. This may seem hyberbolical; bu the average rate of working at a press for common work, that is the general run of book work, with two men, one to ink the types and the other to work the press, is but 250 copies an hour, while a machine will produce 1,250 copies in the same time; and consdierably more might be obtained were not its powers restrained by the limited human means of feeding it with paper, it being found by experience that the number stated is the extent in which one person could supply it, he having regard to laying on the sheets evenly, so as to preserve a regular margin; but his speed was not deemed sufficient to meet the wants that were felt, and the Times newspaper is now printed at a machine where the paper is laid on at four places, one form of which consisting of four pages, is printed at the astonishing rate of 4,320 an hour at its ordinary rate of working, a fact which I have seen and ascertained myself by counting its motions with a seconds watch in my hand. Mr. Richard Taylor has also a similar Machine at which the Weekly Dispatch is printed. Considering what has been done I cannot see a reason why the paper should not be supplied at six or eight places, if found necessary, so as to increase the number printed to 6,000 or 8,000 in an hour; as the wonder ceases when we remember that steam is the moving power. Of the comparative merits of the Machine and the Press I shall speak subsequently."
After a long discussion of the early conceptualization by Nicholson, and the development of machine, or cylinder press, by Koenig, Savage inevitably compared the quality of machine output with hand press or "press" output. His remarks are strikingly analogous to comparisons made between offset and letterpress printing today:
"With respect to the comparative merits of the cylindrical method of printing and those of the press, the manufacturers of machines as well as most master printers, not content with the real superiority of properties which the machine does certainly possess, attribute to it properties which it does not possess, and which are incompatible with it, namely, those of producing the finest work, and printing the finest impressions from highly finished engravings on wood at the rate of eight hundred or one thousand per hour . . . .
In spite of the limited quality available from cylinder presses during their early decades, Savage appreciated their value:
'The advantages that cylinderical printing possesses are of great importance in the art, and not less so with respect to the public. Its power of printing larger sheets of paper than was ever before contemplated, has enabled the proprietors of newspapers to enlarge them to a previously unparalleled extent. The rapidity with which impressions are multiplied is also an advantage of great consequence, as in the case of morning newspapers, instead of going to press on the evening preceding the publication, they can now wait until five o'clock in the morning, and even later, when if a dispatch or an express arrives with any important news, it is in the hands of the public at the usual hour of publication; neither is this rapidity of less advantage to periodical publications, more particular to those of which a large number is printed. . . . Another advantage in machine printing is, the regularity and uniformity of colour through any number of impressions, as it can be regulated with the greatest nicety to any shade; in this instance it is superior to the press for the production of common work, in the uniformity of colour, but only superior to common work in its rivalry with the press."
Also in February 2015 I acquired a copy of the second edition of John Southward's A Dictionary of Typography and its Accessory Arts (1875). By the time Southward published mechanized printing was well established, and all the advertisements at the back of his book concern mechanized presses or "machines" rather than the hand press. In his definition of "Machine" Southward clarified some points made earlier by Savage:
"In England, a printing press in which the operations of laying-on the sheet, inking the forme, and effecting the impression, among others, are automatically performed is called a machine; although to speak correctly every press is a machine, and every printing machine is a press, as said in America. The invention of machines has given an impetus to the progress of the art of printing, and has thereby accelerated the diffusion of knowledge to an extent which cannot be contemplated without a feeling of amazement. By the use of machines, sheets of paper can be printed of a size which could not possibly be obtained on a press worked by hand, and at a speed which, compared with that of the hand press, is that of the express train to the tortoise. . . . "
On the other hand, early in March 2015 I noticed a copy of Charles H. Timperly's The Printer's Manual (1838) on my shelves. This appears to take a more conservative attitude than Savage (1841), as it is concerned entirely with handpress printing. On p. 94, however, Timperly did have these respectiful, but cautious, comments about what he perceived as the limited applications of the new Machines:
"The invention of machinery, for the purposes of printing, first came into operation in England in the year 1814, and after many efforts, has now arrrived at that state of perfection which seems to admit of no further improvement either for newspapers or for bookwork. To the ingenuity of Mr. Konig, a Saxon by birth, with the assistance of Mr. Bensley, Mr. Walters, and other eminent master printers, is the printing-trade indebted for this vast change in their profession. These machines are now principally manufactured by Messrs. Cowper, of London and Manchester; by Mr. Napier, of London, and by a firm at Belper, in Derbyshire.
"After all, in the great variety of forms and qualities of work passing through any printing-office, with the exception of newspapers, recourse must still be had to the aid of good manual presses and experienced pressmen. The serious expense of a printing machine can only be repaid by executing an extraordinary quantity of work in a much less portion of time than that usually occupied for the same work done by ordinary means. As, therefore, the time consuming in laying-on, or making ready a form, must be valuable in proportion to the number of sheets which might be struck off in that time, so frequent repetition of the previous process for short numbers would counterbalance gains arising from the speed in working. Machine printing will, therefore, be only applicable to works of extensive sale. But those of which limited numbers are printed; those also requiring a superior description of press-work with fine ink; fine and large paper copies, with alterations of margin; and many other peculiar circumstances which are continually occurring, will always require a judicious choice of men and materials, for the old mode of working, varied as circumstances may at the moment require. Half-sheet work, or jobs printed on one side only, are either impractible or disadvantageous at a perfecting machine."
The history of the machine or cylinder press began in 1790 when London chemist, translator, journalist, publisher, scientist, and inventor William Nicholson received British patent No. 1748 for "A Machine or Instrument on a New Construction for the Purpose of Printing on Paper, Linen, Cotton Woolen and other Articles in a more Neat, Cheap, and Accurate Manner than is effected by the Machines now in use." In this patent Nicholson made sketchy but prophetic proposals for printing with cylinders, which it is believed he never carried out.
"Nicolson's patent consisted of three parts. The first was for casting types in a multi-letter mould, so that 'two, three or more letters' could be cast at one pouring of the metal, but the resulting types were to be scraped into a shape so that they could be inserted around a cylinder. The second part called for cylinders covered with leather or cloth to distribute the ink. The third demanded that all printing was to be performed by passing paper or material to be printed between two cylinders, one of which 'has the block form, plate assemblance of types, or original, attached to or forming part of its surface' " (Moran, Printing Presses, History and Development from the Fifteenth century to Modern Times  102).
Nicholson's specification contains several drawings.
"In the first drawing, which as the outline of a hand-press A is the impression cylinder in gear with and driving the carriage HI to and fro. B is the inking cylinder,w ith distributing rollers; these take their ink supply from the 'ink block' (duct) at O as this advances with the carriage.
"In the second drawing, which shows three cylinders vertically arranged, B is an inking cylinder with distributors andan ink duct; A is a cylinder 'having the letter imposed upon it surface'; E is the impression cylinder" (Printing and the Mind of Man. Catalogue fo the Exhibitions at The British Museum and at Earls Court, London 16-27 July 1963  No. 402).
Mechanization of printing through a steam-powered cylinder press was first accomplished chiefly by printer, bookseller and inventor Friedrich Koenig (König) between 1810 and 1816. The Oxford Dictionary of National Bibliography states that "Nicholson was subsequently consulted by Friedrich König, the inventor of a machine for the same purpose constructed on different principles, but never asserted a prior claim."
On March 29, 1810 Koenig conducted the first test of his steam-driven platen press, printing 3000 copies—a large edition for the time— of sheet H (pp. 113-128) of The New Annual Register, or General Repository of History, Politics, and Literature for the Year 1810 at Richard Taylor & Co. Printers in Shoe Lane, London. This was the first printing done by the first printing press not powered by hand, and, at the rate of 800 sheets per hour, it achieved more than double the speed possible with an iron hand press, such as the Stanhope press. However, comparing the press work on sheet H with the sheets in the rest of the complete volume of the Register for 1810 in my collection it is evident that the printing of this experimental sheet is inferior.
Koenig, a native of Suhl, Germany, had designed a power-driven device known as the Suhl press around the year 1803; however, whether an actual machine was built is unknown. Finding no interest in his invention, Koenig travelled to London where he was introduced to Thomas Bensley, a printer interested in innovative technology. Bensley brought in two further printers, George Woodfall and Richard Taylor, to help finance the development of Koenig's powered press.
Koenig received his first British patent No. 3321 on March 29, 1810 for "A Method of Printing by Means of Machinery," describing his powered platen press.
"The inking apparatus consisted of several cylinders vertically arranged, above which was an ink-box, through a slight in which the ink was forced by a piston to fall on the cylinders, by which it was distributed. These cylinders were perforated brass tubes, through the axles of which, also perforated, steam or water was introduced to moisten the felt or leather covering. Koenig and Bauer, unlike Nicholson, gave detailed detailed specifications of the 'mill work' which carried the carriage backward and forward and depressed the platen. This operation was accomplished by a compound lever causing a screw to make a quarter of a revolution. The tympan was raised and thrown back, as the carriage left the platen, by a chain attached to the end, while a bar depressed it into position again as the carriage returned. The frisket, instead of being hinged to the free end of the tympan—as in the hand press—sprang up by the action of counterweights the moment the tympan was thrown back, thus released the sheet of paper, which was changed by hand. The press is said to have worked at the rate of 800 impressions an hour—a great advance on the hand press—but it was really a dead-end; it could advance no further technically, and the inking apparatus was considered unsatisfactory" (Moran, op. cit., 105).
On October 30, 1811 Koenig received his second British patent No. 3496 for "Further Improvements on my Method of Printing by Means of Machinery," describing the first cylinder flat-bed press.
"This steam-driven machine, revolutionary though it was, still incorporated vestiges of the hand press, as certain developments necessary to transform the printing press completely had not yet taken place. The forme no longer made a simple movement under a platen, rather the bed on which it was fastened received a continual motion by means of a double rack—for every sheet it moved to and fro.
"The platen was discarded in favour of a 'pressing cylinder,', which was completely novel. Koenig, writing later in The Times of 8 December 1814, explained the difference between the earlier cylinders and his invention: 'Impressions produced by means of cylinders, which had likewise been already attempted by others, without the desired effect, were again tried by me upon a new plan, namely, to place the sheet round the cylinder, thereby making it, as it were, part of the periphery.' Koenig's machine was, therefore not a mangle, in which a sheet is rolled and pressed, which was the essence of earlier ideas, and of some yet to come, but an ingenious device for bringing the sheet of paper rapidly to the point of impression.
"In the absence of grippers, a continuous motion to Koenig's cylinder would not have allowed the feeding of sheets, so there hd to be an intermitten or stop motion. The cyhlinder was therefore divided into three parts, which were covered with cloth and provided with points in the manner of tympan on a hand press' and iron frames, which continued to bear the name of 'friskets', were attached to hold the sheets of paper. The surface of the cylinder between the 'tympans' was cut away to allow the forme to pass freely under it on its return. The cylinder made one-third of a revolution for each impression and then stopped. The sequence was as follows: the uppermost frisket seized a sheet of paper and moved into the next position; the sheet formerly in that position came into contact with the forme and was printed; the third segment moved to the upper position.
"Composition rollers were in their infancy, and at this point Koenig utilized once again leather-covered rollers, which were not very efficient, and it was also difficult to supply them with an even flow of ink. The ink-box consisted of a vertical cylinder with a hole at the base, about half an inch in diameter, and was fitted with an air-tight piston, which was depressed by a screw which forced the ink out on the rollers. Whatever the drawbacks of this machine, it was set to work at the rate of 800 impressions an hour" (Moran, op. cit.  106).
♦ The first ever sheets printed by Koenig's cylinder flat-bed press that were actually issued were sheets G (pp. 81-96) and X (pp. 305-20) of Thomas Clarkson's Memoirs of the Private and Public Life of William Penn, Vol. 1  printed by Koenig's sponsor, printer Richard Taylor, at his press in Shoe-Lane, London.
In 1813 engineer Bryan Donkin of Bermondsey, Surrey, and printer (later: Whig journalist, musician, and miscellaneous writer) Richard Mackenzie Bacon of Norwich invented the first rotary press and received British patent No. 3757 for "Certain Improvements in the Implements or Apparatus Emplying in Printing, whether from Types, from Blocks, or from Plates."
"The first [rotary press] to be built, that of Richard Bacon and Bryan Donkin, patented in 1813, was fed by sheets of paper and avoided the problem of fitting type to cylindrical surfaces. The type was still held in flat formes, which were fixed on four sides of a prism, which was square in section. Its axis revolved by the action of a winch, and the type was printed on to the paper by means of a second roller, called by the old name of the platen, its surface being made up of four segments of cylinders, and its circumference when turned round always applying to a type surface. Ink was applied by a large composition cylinder above the prism, which received ink from a distribution roller supplied from a third metal roller. Bacon and Donkin were thus pioneers in the use of the composition roller and the ink duct. The whole mechanism was quite small, capable standing upon an ordinary writing-table, but it was very complicated and required great accuracy of operation. An exhibition was held in Donkin's factory, and claims were made that the machine would perform the work of eight hand presses. Hansard states that he showed the inventor that work on six of his presses would have required four of the new machines to execute it. The only one of Bacon and Donkin's machines known to Hansard was installed at the University Press, Cambridge, where (in 1825) it 'rests in peace, as not being found in any degree useful" (Moran, op. cit.  175-76).
Koenig's third British patent, no. 3725, for "Certain Additional Improvements in my Method of Printing by Means of Machinery," issued on July 23, 1813
"contained improvements on that of 1811 and served as the basis of the double machine. For this a second cylinder was added by which the return movment of the bed was made productive. While the printer cylinders were divided into three parts as before, each being covered with cloth with points attached, the 'friskets' were abolished in favour of endless tapes conducted over rolls. The ink system underwent modifcation to the demands of double printing. The inking rollers were set transversely across the forme with their axles meeting on one side. In the patent the inking rollers were still described as covered in skin, but Koenig learned of the superiority of composition rollers during the year, otherwise The Times machine could not have worked as effectively as it did" (Moran, op. cit.  107).
The major speed advantage of Koenig's latest press was first put to practical use on November 24, 1814 when The Times of London newspaper published its first issue printed on a double steam-driven Koenig cylinder press. The output of the new machine was initially 1,100 sheets an hour—more than four times faster than the hand presses previously used by the newspaper.
Koenig's last English patent, No. 3868, "Certain further improvements on my method of printing by means of machinery," granted on December 24, 1814, was the basis of an improved cylinder machine and of a perfecting machine—one which would print on both sides of a sheet of paper.
"The perfecting machine was a combination of two in one, in which the forme, printing cylinder and inking device were duplicated but which had a single feeding apparatus in the shape of an endless web on which the sheet of paper was fed. A registering apparatus was fixed between the two printing cylinders, which were covered only partially to the size of a sheet so that the forme could return freely under the uncovered portion. The paper was carried between two rows of tapes round the first cylinder, to be printed on one side, and was then taken off the cylinder, laid on the register device, which sustained it until it arrived in a vertical position over the second cylinder, to be moved around it and printed on the second side. The sheet was turned by the use of an S-shaped course, and after being printed on both sides was conducted to a board in the middle of the machine. The first machine of this sort was finished in February 1816, and was installed in Bensley's office, where, steam-driven, it was used for book printing. It produced 900 to 1,000 perfected sheets an hour (Moran, op.cit.  109-110).
The first complete book that Bensley and Son printed on the new machine, and therefore the first complete book ever printed on a machine press, was Blumenbach's The Institutions of Physiology, Translated from the Latin of the Third and Last Edition by John Elliotson (London, 1817). At the end of Elliotson's preface on p. iii there is the following postscript:
"P.S. The volume may be considered a typographical curiosity, being the first book ever printed by machinery. It is executed by Messrs. Bensley and Son's patent machine, which prints both sides of the sheet by one operation, at the rate of 900 an hour, and is the only one of the kind ever constructed."
Besides inventing the machine press, Koenig also revolutionized the inking process. Prior to the development of the machine type had been inked by hand, using leather balls which needed frequent cleaning and renewal. In the steam press the ink was held in a central reservoir, and after preparation between a system of rollers it was passed over the surface of the type metal by a final final roller. This eliminated the laborious process of hand-inking.
In 1816 Koenig added a perfector to The Times of London steam power press, allowing the press to print almost as many copies on both sides of the sheet on one pass through the press as had been previously printed on one side only. By 1818 Koenig's steam power press achieved an output of 2400 impressions per hour.
In 1817 Koenig and the engineer Andreas Bauer established Schnellpressenfabrik Koenig & Bauer in a secularized monastery in Oberzell near Würzburg, "taking on the mammoth task of setting up an industrial production line 25 years before the industrial age reached Germany." The company (KBA), which builds some of the most advanced high speed presses, is the oldest printing press manufacturer in the world.
Bensley's steam-powered Koenig press was first used to print a weekly periodical beginning with the January 3, 1818 issue of The Literary Gazette and Journal of the Belles Lettres, Arts, Politics, Etc. The publishers featured the introduction of the new technology in the top center column of the first page of the issue:
"It may also be interesting to our readers to know, that, commencing with the present Number, this Journal will be printed by Messrs. Bensley's Patent Machine, an inventive improvement in the art of Printing which reflects honour on the present age, and exhibits a proof of the progress of the art of ingenious mechanism in this country. In this respect our Journal will enjoy an advantage over all other weekly papers, being the first ever printed by a steam-engine, and we shall thus be enabled to published at a very early hour on the Saturday morning."
In their issue published one week later on January 10, 1818 the editors of the same journal included the following article on p. 23
"The Patent Completing Printing Machine.
"In our last number, we mentioned, that the Literary Gazette was the only Journal in the world printed by this most admirable machine; and as a mattter of extraordinary mechanical interest we subjoin a brief account of the process by which about a thousand of these large sheets are per hour produced by this magical invention. The beauty of the movements, their rapidity, their precision are enhanced to the imagination by the nature of the operation they perform: it looks as if mind and not matter were at work. We see a boy lay a white sheet of paper upon the web (here described), and while we tell three it is recieved by another by, as flour comes from the mill, a perfect newspaper, printed on both sides, with a degree of unequalled force, clearness, and correctness. a more gratifying scene, than the action of this piece of mechanism, it is impossible to conceive; it seems the very climax of human ingenuity, and if ever a thing of the kind merited public admiration and acknowledgement, we hesitate not to say, that it is this wonderful apparatus.Printed in the housw where Samuel Johnson lived and died, by a Machine as curious and unique as his endowments were stupendous and unrivalled; the Literary Gazette now presents at least two incidental attractions in addition to those which have been already honoured with such cheering encouragement.
"We beg to request the notice of our readers to our page as a specmen of the art of printing by the singular means devised and perfected as is below explained.
"About ten years ago Mr. Bensley was applied to by Mr. König, a Saxon, who submitted to him proposals for joining him in the prosecution of a plan for improving the common printing press, which consisted chiefly in moving the press by machinery, by which the labour of one man might be saved. A press was formed on this plan, but the result was so unsatisfactory as to induce the rejection of it altogether. It will readily be conceived that this resolution was not taken till after numberless expeiments had rendered the prospect of success hopeless. The idea of cylindical impression now presented itself, which had been attempted by others without success; and a machine on this construction was completed, after encountering great difficulties, at the close of the year 1812. It may be proper here to introduce an outline of its operation.
The form (i.e. the composed types) is placed on a carriage or coffin, which is constantly passing under the inking cylinders, obtain a coat of ink its ingress and egress; these cylinders have a lateral and rotatory motion, for the purpose of equalizing the ink before it is communicated to the form. After the form is thorougly inked, it passes under the printing cylinder, on which the paper is laid, where it receives the impression, and thence delivers itself into the hands of the boy who waits to receive it.This is termed a Single Machine; by the assistance of two boys it prints 750 sheets on one side per hour. As despatch, however, is of the utmost improtance to a newspaper, it was deemed advised to construct what is called a Double Machine. This differs in no respect from that above described, excepting the addition of a second printing cylinder, by which means with the assistance of four boys, 1100 sheets are printed withn the hour on one side. The Machines used for printing the Times newspaper are on this plan, and have now been constantly in use since November 1814. After the Times' Machines were constructed the grander improvement of the Completing Machine was suggested, so called from its delivering the sheet printed on both sides. It has a double inking and printing apparatus, with two carriages or coffins, each large enough to admit a double demy form 34 1/2 by 21 inches. The paper is laid on an endless web, called the feeder, which receives at intervals; thence the sheet passes into the Machine, and is ejected in a few seconds printed on both sides. By this means 900 sheets are struck off in an hour, printed on both sides, or 1800 impressions; if the double sized paper be used, 3600 single impressions. Two boys and an overlooker are all the assistance requisite, and a steam engine of one-horse power is sufficient force to impel it.
"The Patentees must feel a just pride in the completion of such an ardous udnertaking, after so many years of labour and expense; and it is not the least grafifying circumstance attending it, to consider that in England so important an invention has been matured, which had been previously rejected by all the principal cities on the continent; for the inventor (Mr. König) spent not less than two years in seeking patronage in Germany and Russia, till at length, to use his own words, he was 'compelled to take refuge in England, the only country where mchanical inventions are duly rewarded"."
In 1827 British printers and inventors Edward Cowper & Augustus Applegath (often misspelled Applegarth), working in London, completed the design of a four cylinder steam-powered printing press with capacity of 4,000-5,000 impressions per hour.
As newspapers were able to increase circulation the demand for more and more production speed increased, motivating inventors to develop faster and faster presses.
The first detailed English language historical account of Koenig's development of the steam or machine press was written by Samuel Smiles and published in Macmillan's Magaine, December, 1869 as "Friedrich Koenig: Inventor of the Steam-Printing Machine." Smiles expanded this article as reissued it as Chapter 6 of his Men of Invention and Industry (1884).
(This entry was last revised on 05-11-2016.)