Technology these days is advancing at a supreme rate, we all remember the days when a keyboard was something we used to play music on and a web was something a spider spun. Here we’re looking at the history of the printing press…
1000’s Movable type presses using ceramics were first used in China.
1300’s The first Movable Metallic types were invented in Korea.
1400’s The first printing press was introduced to the West by Johannes Gutenberg. A goldsmith by profession, he used a hand mould to create metal movable type and the adaption of screw presses. Gutenberg was the first person to make durable type from an alloy.
1450’s The Gutenberg Bible was the first major book to be printed, marking the beginning of mass produced books in Europe.
By 1500 over 20 million volumes were produced. From one print shop in Maintz, Germany, printing had spread to around
270 cities accross Europe.
1470’s William Caxton is thought to be the first book retailer in England, setting up in 1746 and produced the first book written in English in 1473 in Bruges.
1500’s Over 3000 printers produced an estimated 150 to 200 million copies.
Late 1700’s A printing press made of cast iron was produced by Lord Stanhope. It had a larger print area and required less force, producing 480 pages per hour.
1810 The steam powered rotary press was Patented in by Friedrich Koenig.
1811 Koenig produced his press with engineer Andreas Friedrich Bauer and the first production trial took place.
1814 Koenig and Bauer sold two of their first models which were capable of 1100 impressions per hour to The Times in London. This early model was developed to print both sides of paper at once, making newspapers available to the masses.
1843 A steam press was invented by Richard M. Hoe which was capable of printing millions of copies of pages in a single day.
The introduction of rolled paper increased the mass production of print allowing the presses to run at a much faster rate.
1875 The first rotary offset lithographic printing press was created and patented in England by Robert Barclay.
1930’s/40’s Presses had become much more efficient, with one particular press capable of up to 3000 impressions per hour. Letterpress printing was widely used until offset printing was introduced.
1950’s Offset printing became the most popular form of commercial printing.
1950’s to present. Since the 50’s there have been a number of advances in the offset method, including the introduction of the computer to plate system, which creates better quality print. Offset printing is still the most popular print method today for producing high volumes at low cost. Digital printing presses are also very popular today, according to experts at the DX Print Group. A more cost effective printing method when small volumes are required.
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