The earliest detailed illustrated 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, and was elegantly designed and produced, and superbly illustrated, may be considered the most significant manual on printing after Moxon's Mechanick Exercises (1683-84). Because it was published near the beginning of the mechanization of printing, and near the beginning of the transition of printing from a hand-craft to an industry, it inevitably emphasized the hand press over the machine. And because printing machines at the time could not produce a book as finely printed and illustrated as Hansard's book, it is certain that the images for Hansard's book were printed by a hand press, and it is likely that the text pages were as well.
Writing just a little more than a decade after Koenig invented the steam powered 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". Reflective of the novelty of printing machines, in his first mention of the concept on p. 548 Hansard called them "Printing Machines, or Engines, in which the art of the engineer is every thing, and the printer, nothing; whether the motive power be that of steam, horse, or man, the impulse to the machinery being unaided or undirected by professional judgement, or an effort of mind." His statement appears to reflect his judgment that the design and operation of printing machines, as well as their output, were reflective of engineering more than the traditional "printer's art" as output and expressed on the hand press. In 1825, when Hansard published, machines were mainly being used to print newspapers or a few unillustrated books, and experts typically considered their results to be less than optimal quality.
In his chapter on 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 it with a large folding plate (larger than any other plate in the book). Avoiding the added costs of connecting a steam engine to a press, 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 succeed in all its pretensions than any which has yet been offered to us; more particularly as it supersedes the necessity of steam power" (p. 710).
Because of the expense of steam engines, difficulties in their operation, and scarcity of the equipment in certain locations, there was a definite demand for rotary presses operated by hand-cranks and flywheels for the first half of the 19th century and beyond, especially for mid to low volume printing operations. Besides the Nay-Peer Hansard also provided a beautiful illustration of Mr. Rutt's Printing Machine showing it being driven by a hand crank.