Printing presses have evolved greatly since their invention. Those that worked in this field in the past found the process of printing very difficult because they had to do everything by hand. In the beginning, printing presses had many parts made out of wood.
Afterwards, in the late 18th century and early 19th century, the same parts of the printing presses were made of metal. Muller Martini machines share this history of great evolution and important discoveries that offer today the best results in this domain.
Earl Stanhope, from England, was the first to use a cast-iron frame for the printing presses. His invention, called the Stanhope Press, was made completely of cast-iron. George Clymer (Philadelphia, USA) invented the Columbian Press in 1816.
His product was also an iron hand press which had the capacity to print 250 copies per hour. If we compare this type of presses to today’s Muller Martini machines the difference in huge but for their time those printing presses were truly revolutionary.
The printing press in one of the most important inventions in human history and evolution because it allowed rapid spread of information and discoveries. Some inventions were very important in this field because they changed the design and essential parts of priting presses, improving many steps of this activity.
The first inventor who tried to mechanize the process of priting was Daniel Treadwell (from Boston, USA). The result of his work, a bed and platen press, was faster an more reliable than previous versions of printing presses. Moreover, the copies produced by this type of press were better. The mechanized process evolved and, in 1812, Friedrik Koenig introduced the steam-driven printing press that could produce 400 copies every hour.
His invention was improved by the American inventor Richard Hoe. In 1832 he invented the Single Cylinder Press, thus improving speed and efficency of the entire printing process. Richard Hoe managed to create another revolutionary printing press, in 1844. It was called the rotary press and it had the extraordinary capacity to print approximately 8,000 copies per hour.
The printing process was further improved by Wiliam Bullock. In 1865 he invented the first press that used a continuous roll paper. This quality of printing presses was very important because it reduced human assistance and produced a staggering number of 12,000 pages per hour. Some machines used in our times still use the roll papers.
Another important change was the introduction of monotype and lynotype machines. Todays’s machines were changed by computers but they still need human assistance in order to be controlled and serviced when needed.Nowadays we are in the middle of a transition from the printed book to the electronic book, also called ebook.
It became popular in the early 2,000s. Publishers choose to launch books both on paper and ebooks because the public’s preferences have changed in recent years aided greatly by the emergence of smartphones, ebook readers and tablets. In conclusion, in a continuously changing environment we have to adapt to new technologies and techniques of printing and reading books.