Printer, bookseller and inventor Friedrich Koenig conducted the first test of his steam-driven platen press, printing 3000 copies 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 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 British patent 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, Printing Presses, History and Development from the Fifteenth Century to Modern Times  105).