Copyright 2006 Smarket Limited
Printing is not something one may think of often, but it does impact our lives everyday. From the morning newspaper to church on Sundays, printing is important to our society. Without printing we wouldnt have books, papers, magazines or many other information tools. To truly understand printing one must look at the machines, processes and technology that has shaped its history.
The construction of machines have taken printing from hand cranked to high power. The first papermaking machine which developed rolls of paper was made in London in 1803. In 1846 Richard March Hoe made a rotary press that arranged printing plates on a cylinder, pressing them onto the paper. In 1866 a machine was invented for the purpose of folding newspapers. In 1884 the typesetting machine, invented by Ottmar Mergenthaler in Baltamore, made printing easy. All of these inventions started methods that are still used today.
The introduction of certain processes also helped to revolutionize the printing industry. Steam power first came to be used in printing in 1810. This replaced the old hand operations of the past, making the whole process faster. In 1798, Alois Senefelder invented the process of Lithography. It involved ink applied to a plate and then transferred to a roller that then rolled the images onto paper. This was the basis for processes still used today.
Technology has impacted every industry, but perhaps has really improved the printing industry. The introduction of computers make setting up type and tone much easier. Laser printing and digital printing have sent the process to new heights, allowing printers to do more than ever. High definition abilities make todays printed material of the highest quality ever seen.
With the combination of new advances in machinery, processes and technology the printing industry has grown and changed. It is an important part of daily life and with its evolution through history has become even better.