Times continuation of explanation of new machine
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John Walter Defends the New Printing Machine Against Threats from Pressmen

12/3/1814
Times explanation of new printing machine
Creative Commons LicenseJeremy Norman Collection of Images - Creative Commons

Having printed their first issue on Friedrich Koenig's steam-powered press on November 29, 2014, five days later, on December 3, The Times defended their use of the new technology against the inevitable criticism that they faced from pressmen opposed to the new technology. The text that they published in response was presumably written by the publisher, John Walter. It is reproduced in the two images attached to this entry. It reads as follows:

"We are at length able to meet the complaints of our customers with a confidence in our capacity to remove the cause of them,—to meet their increasing demands with an assurance that we shall be able to fulfil them. The Machine of which we announced the discovery and our adoption a few days ago, has been whirling on its course ever since, with improving order, regularity, and even speed. The length of the debates on Thursday, the day when the Parliament was adjourned, will have been observed: on such an occasion, the operation of composing and printing the last page must commence among all the journals at the same moment; and starting from that moment, we, with our infinitely superior circulation, were enabled to throw off our whole impression many hours before the other respectable rival prints. The accuracy and clearness of the impression will likewise excite attention. Till Parliament, therefore, shall be again assembled, there will exist no reason why the public in any part of the metropolis should wait for The Times Journal longer than eight o'clock.

"We should make no reflections upon those by whom this wonderful discovery has been opposed,—the doubters and unbelievers,—however uncharitable they may have been to us, were it not that the efforts of genius are always impeded by drivellers of this description; and that we owe it to such men as Mr. KOENIG and his Friend [Bauer], and all future promulgators of beneficial inventions, to warn them that they will have to be content with every thing that selfishness and conceited ignorance can devise or say; and if we cannot clear their way before them, we would at least give them notice to prepare a panoply against its dirt and filth.

"There is another class of men from whom we receive dark and anonymous threats of vengeance, if we persevere in the use of this machine. These are the Pressmen. They well know, or at least should well know, that such menace is thrown away upon us. There is nothing that we will not do to assist and serve those whom we have discharged. They themselves see the greater rapidity and precision with which the paper is printed. What right have they to make us print it slower and worse for their supposed benefit? A little reflection, indeed, would shew them, that it is neither in their power nor in our's to stop a discovery now made, if it is beneficial to mankind; or to force it down, if it is useless. They had better, therefore, acquiesce in a result which they cannot alter; more especially as there will still be employment enough for the old race of pressmen, before the new method obtains general use, and no new ones need be brought up to the business: but we caution them seriously against involving themselves and their families in ruin, by becoming amenable to the laws of their country. It has always been matter of great satisfaction to us to reflect, that we encountered and crushed one conspiracy: we should be sorry to find our work half done.

"It is proper to undeceive the world in one particular; that is, as to the number of hands discharged. We, in fact, employ only eight fewer workmen than formerly; whereas more than three times that number have been engaged for a year and a half in building the machine."

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