Printing

machine, press, type, hand, cylinder, paper, sheets, hour and rotary

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The Printing Press.

The development of the printing press provides a remarkable history of achievement. Hand presses were for more than ioo years constructed of wood and operated on the screw principle. Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638), of Holland, made the first improvements, but no radical change came until the end of the 18th century. Adam Ramage, of Philadelphia, and Charles, Earl of Stanhope, of London, working at about the same time, made further improvements, Stanhope's press, appearing in 1800, being the first to be constructed entirely of iron. George Clymer, beginning in Philadelphia and continuing in London from 1817 to 1834, was the first to abandon the screw entirely, his substitute being a series of compound levers. The hand-lever press, known as the Washington hand press, operated on the tog gle-jointed bar principle, appeared about the same time and eventually superseded all others. John J. Wells, Peter Smith and Samuel Rust, of New York, all had a hand in its development.

In 1790, William Nicholson, an Englishman, took out a patent for a cylinder press, but this did not get beyond the drawing of plans. It was left for Frederick Koenig—a Saxon—to construct the first power-driven machine in 1811. This, however, proved but little more than the adaptation of power to the hand press, and it is assumed that only one of these machines was made and used for book printing. Soon after this, Koenig and a fellow-country man, Andrew Bauer, constructed a flat-bed machine with a con tinually revolving cylinder. Two of these machines, called cylin der presses, were erected in The Times, London, and the issue dated Nov. 29, 1814, states that it "was printed by steam power." The machine produced 'Jo° impressions per hour, thus quad rupling the output of a hand press. Later, a machine was con structed to print upon both sides of the sheet before delivery, and these machines were in operation until 1827.

Koenig returned to Germany in 1817, and Applegarth and Cowper, engineers of The Times, built a machine in 1827 for printing on one side of the sheet, and capable of giving 4,00o im pressions an hour. This was in use until 1848, when Applegarth invented a new type of machine with cylinders in a vertical posi tion and on which the type was secured by means of wedge-shaped column rules. Around the type cylinder were grouped eight impres sion cylinders, the sheets being delivered in a vertical position and taken off by hand. The output of this machine was 8,000 impressions per hour. There was only one of these machines made and it was ultimately replaced by the Hoe type revolving machine, which made way for the Walter rotary perfecting press in 1868.

In 1846, Robert Hoe, founder of the world-renowned American printing machinery manufacturing firm, built a new style of press.

This was known as the Hoe type revolving machine. The type cylinder was placed in a horizontal position and the type secured in cast-iron beds by special locking up apparatus. Each bed repre seated one page of a newspaper. Grouped around the type cylinder were four, six or ten impression cylinders, each of which had feeders laying on sheets of paper. As the main cylinder rotated, the type was inked by a roller, the sheets as they were fed in being taken by grippers to receive the inked impression of the type. In this instance, the sheets were delivered by means of "mechanical flyers." This machine was capable of turning out 2,000 sheets per feeder per hour, i.e., with a four-cylinder machine 8,000 impres sions were obtained. The first machine was erected in London in 1856; it had six cylinders and was installed to print Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper.

An impetus was given to the production of newspapers by the invention of the papermaking machine by the brothers Fourdrinier, in 1803, while the knowledge of how to cast curved stereo plates also helped forward the development of newspaper production. In 1865, the first printing press to print from a continuous reel of paper was made by an American named William Bullock. The machine consisted of four cylinders—two impression cylinders and two plate cylinders—but as the paper passed from the reel it had to be cut before printing. This led to many difficulties and the machine was soon discarded owing to its unreliability.

The proprietors of The Times were continually endeavouring to construct a rotary perfecting machine and in 1868 the famous Walter rotary perfecting press was built to print The Times. A reel of paper was used, both sides being printed from curved stereo plates and the sheets delivered flat. These were used until 1895, and were undoubtedly the models from which present-day news paper rotaries have developed. One drawback to the speedy pro duction of newspapers in the early days of the rotary machine was that they were delivered flat and had to be folded by hand. In 1870, the first folder attachment was invented by two English engineers, G. Duncan and W. A. Wilson, and since then the devel opment of the rotary press has been rapid : the reason undoubtedly being the overcoming of the folding difficulty which in turn has enabled proprietors to produce newspapers in large numbers and at the nominal price at which they are now sold. Present-day newspaper presses are capable of printing simultaneously from as many as 15 reels and to produce over 300,00o copies per hour. Credit must be given to Sir Rowland Hill for the inception of the idea of printing on both sides of the paper from a reel, the sug gestion having emanated from him in 1835.

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