In the late 18th and early 19th century, the affluent English middle class desired more access to information. This brought about the growing need for newspapers. But the conventional wooden printing presses at that time were not able to meet the growing need.
This gave Charles Mahon, 3rd Earl Stanhope the idea to create the cast-iron press, which features combination of levers that can withstand the pressures of repeated printing. This is known as the Stanhope Press first introduced in 1800. The press is able to create powerful and cleaner impressions ideal for larger formats. It was used to print The Times newspaper in the 19th century. The Gunnersbury Park Museum has the earliest surviving example of the cast-iron press.
Aside from the Stanhope Press, the Columbian Press is another type of iron hand press. It was create in 1816 by George Clymer of Philadelphia. It can print a whole newspaper page in just one pull. It is sometimes referred to as the Eagle press because of the bald eagle that sits on top of the lever as a counterweight.