. An account by Savage, in his Dictionary of Printing, 1841, says: “Cylin­drical printing, or, as it is generally termed, Machine printing, is a new mode of obtaining which took place in the year 1814. It has caused a great revolution in the art, from the facilities which it affords for printing sheets of paper of a size of which no press worked by manual labour is capable, nor, were it capable, is the strength of one man equal to the exertion requisite for the pressure necessary to produce a respectable impression. In addition to this ad­vantage of printing sheets of such larger dimen­sions, it possesses the power of multiplying impressions so rapidly as to appear like the work of magic. This may seem hyperbolical; but the average rate of working at a press for common work, that is, the general run of book work, with two men, one to ink the types, and the other to work the press, is but 250 copies an hour, while a machine will produce 1,250 copies in the same time; and considerably more might be obtained, were not its powers restrained by the limited human means of feeding it with paper, it being found by experience that the number stated is the extent to which one person could supply it, he having regard to laying on the sheets evenly, so as to preserve a regular margin: but this speed was not deemed suffi­cient to meet the wants that were felt, and the `Times’ newspaper is now printed at a machine where the paper is laid on at four places, one forme of which, consisting of four pages, is printed at the astonishing rate of 4,320 an hour at its ordinary rate of working, a fact which I have seen and ascertained myself, by counting its motions with a seconds watch in my hand. Mr. Richard Taylor has also a similar machine at which the ’Weekly Dis­patch’ is printed. Considering what has been done, I cannot see a reason why the paper should not be supplied at six or eight places, if found necessary, so as to increase the number printed to 6,000 or 8,000 in an hour; as the wonder ceases when we remember that steam is the moving power.” A comparison of these facts with the methods employed and the results attained nowadays is very curious.

Taken from Gesta Typographica by Chas. Jacobi, 1897, page 16.



Newspapers were first printed

Capitals and leads

About the Letters J and W

The Scriptures were first written on skins

The first iron printing-press


Gothic Letters

Type Founding in Europe

Pica Type

Long Primer



Newspapers were first printed

[The Vatican’s Printing Press]


Richard Pynson

Some Numerals

John Gutenberg


The first work printed in Germany in the Roman characters

John Fust, or Faust

The first work in the English language