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        Innovations in Printing technology during 18th, 19th centuries

    Printing is basically the making impressions on a blank paper or cloth, with an inked surface.  Mainly we print pictures and text in colors or black and white.

    The industrial revolution and automation made it possible to print in bulk quickly.  In the 19th century the Gutenberg press (hand operated) was replaced by steam-engine operated rotary press.

    Further the printing flatbed (vertical printing) action was replaced by rotating cylinders.  The surface of rotating cylinders contained the printed matter.  German Friedrich Koenig invented a number changes in printing press design, in early 19th century.  German engineer Andreas Friedrich Bauer and Koenig sold printing press to “The Times” in London in 1818, resulting in commercial mass printing.

     Richard Hoe from USA perfected the power driven cylindrical press in 1843.  That made it possible for 8000 sheets of paper to be printed in one hour.  It was black and white printing in bulk.

    Jabbing presses were later developed.  Then small presses for printing small business cards and envelopes etc. were invented.

    Development of the offset printing press during the 19th century.  So color printing was possible up to 6 different colors.  These were mechanically operated by humans by running a motor with hands or legs.

Electrically operated motorized printing press during the 20th century.


Automatic paper reel feeding.


Photo electric controls of the color containers with injection controls at high speeds.


Perhaps Xeroxing or photocopying is also part of printing, as it uses some concepts similar to printing.


Desktop publishing is another evolution.

Electronic publishing and Computer printer is latest one.  Now photos are also printed this way.


Composing and printing

Lithography & photolithography.   Photolithography was used in fabrication of integrated micro-electronic circuits on PCB.

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