Printing News
The Printing Press Gets Recast in Cast Iron
In the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century, inventors began modifying the printing press by making parts of the press out of metal instead of wood. Earl Stanhope of England created a printing press with a cast-iron frame. In 1800, he invented the Stanhope Press, which was the first book press made completely out of cast-iron. The press also featured a combination of levers to give the pressman added power. It created powerful, cleaner impressions, which were ideal for printing woodcuts and larger formats.
The Columbian Press, invented in 1816 by George Clymer of Philadelphia, was also an iron hand press. It could print 250 copies per hour. The press was noteworthy because it used a series of weights and counterweights, making it relatively easy for the printer to increase the force of the impression and raise the platen after each impression. The eagle mounted on the top of the press served as both a patriotic symbol and a counterweight.
Like Gutenberg's press, these platen presses had a flat surface bearing the paper, which was pressed against the flat-inked plate. (Gold Printing Group)
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