Adams press, with updates, as offered for sale in the 1867 Hoe & Co. catalogue.
Creative Commons LicenseJeremy Norman Collection of Images - Creative Commons

Adams press, with updates, as offered for sale in the 1867 R. Hoe & Co. catalogue.

"Adams Patent" is visible on the far right side of the image of the machine in the R. Hoe & Co. catalogue.

"Adams Patent" is visible on the far right side of the image of the machine in the R. Hoe & Co. catalogue.

Detail map of Boston, Massachusetts, United States Overview map of Boston, Massachusetts, United States

A: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Issac Adams Revolutionizes Book Production, Especially in America, with the Adams Power Press

1830
<p>Adams Power Presses in use from <em>The Harper Establishment</em> (1855).</p>

Adams Power Presses in use from The Harper Establishment (1855).

In 1827 to 1830 American inventor and politician Isaac Adams of Boston invented the Adams Power Press, a platen press operating under power which revolutionized the printing industry, especially book production in America. The machine, which was introduced in 1830, became by 1836 the leading machine used in book printing for much of the nineteenth century. With updates, it was sold by R. Hoe & Co. as late as 1881, and was distributed worldwide. The Adams Power Press substantially reduced the cost of book production, and made books more widely available. One Adams press could print 1000 impressions per hour- four times the speed of a hand press. It also handled sheets of paper twice as large as a hand press; however, it was a platen press operating under power, with all the limitations of platen printing.

"... it was the bed and platen machine that became the predominant press in American printing offices. With skilled handling, it could rival the best work of the hand press, with far greater speed and economy of labor. Between 1830, when Isaac Adams patented his first press, until about 1880 when the bed and platen press finally neared its end, an estimated ninety percent of American book printing was done on Adams presses." (Foreward by Stephen O. Saxe. Charles, Douglas W. Bed & Platen Book Printing Machines. American and British streams of ingenious regression in the quest for print quality. Plane Surface Press, 2017).

 

 

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