Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Printing Then and Now: Part V (The Industrial Age)

The 18th and 19th century was the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. During this era, sudden interest for literature increased which then led to increase in literacy. Books and pamphlets were mass produced, thus, reviving an old invention which previously received little interest—the Gutenberg press. Scholars need to publish findings and promote inventions, giving the old press a renewed interest.       

Next to reviving the Gutenberg press, changes in the printing industry brought about the introduction of steam presses. This somehow reduced the manpower needed for mass production. In 1810, Friedrich Koenig, a German printer, created the first flatbed press which is capable of printing 1,100 prints per hour. It was first used by the The Times London in 1814. 

Koenig together with Andreas Friedrich Bauer later perfected the early model in such a way that the press can already print on both sides of the pages. Later on, in 1843, the steam powered rotary printing press was invented by Richard M. Moe in the United States. This press allowed printers to create millions of copies of printed paged in a day. This press has contributed a lot to the development of print and made newspaper more available to a wider audience. 

In the mid-19th century, the jobbing presses, fast but smaller presses, were created and capable of printing small materials such as letterheads, envelopes, and business cards. This press was considered as the most cost-effective duplicating solution at that time.    


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  2. It's amazing how, slowly, printing became easier. Although for us, the printing process above would not be able to meet the demandsof today.