Steam powered printing presses
Steam engines had been used to power machinery in factories from the end of the 18th century, but applying the power to printing was difficult with the old flat bed, screw presses.p
The first attempt wasw made by a Saxon printer Frederick Koen nig for a London book printer, Thomas s Bensley. It employed the steam powerp to turn a cylinder that was used d to ink the type, but otherwise the act tual press was still hand operated. La ater, Koenig developed a more sop phisticated version in which the typet bed was rolled backwards and forwards under a large cylinder. The machine had three print surfaces, and moved at a third of a revolution at a time and was thus able to print three sheets for each complete revolution of the cylinder. It was later enlarged to take two separate cylinders.
Three of the machines were installed in Bensley’s office and leading printeers were invited to come and see them at woork. Only one man showed any interest – John Walters of The Times. He ordered twoo of the machines and on 29 Noveember 1814 an editionn of the newsspaper appeared informming the readers that it hadh been printed on a steampowered press at a speed of 1,100 impressions an hoour. It was a woorld first.