Page 19 - January 2015
P. 19

Unlike the wooden presses that had gone,          to breaking due to the immense pressure they
Stanhope’s small but functional press was very    could exert and the later versions used heavier,
robust and made entirely from iron. The press     rounded castings from c.1806, like the example
had a series of levers to allow the print master  seen here in the Paris museum.
to adjust the considerable pressures the press
could exert, creating clean, crisp impressions    MARINONI
from woodcuts and for larger book designs.
                                                  The museum’s Marinoni newspaper press (see
                                                  image left) is absolutely beautiful to behold—
                                                  a true workhorse of print that looks for all
                                                  the world like it could be fired up today and
                                                  printing as efficiently as it ever did. It’s a highly
                                                  mechanised rotary press that was capable of
                                                  printing 6000 copies an hour, on both sides via
                                                  a continuously fed, gigantic, roll of paper

                                                  The edition that this particular press printed
                                                  (see cylindrical plate picture), was le Petit
                                                  Journal (first issue printed February 1863),
                                                  a Parisian newspaper that owed its success in
                                                  part to the method in which it was produced.
                                                  Marinoni’s rotary press made the newspapers
                                                  he was involved in both running and printing,
                                                  far cheaper to buy (5 cents instead of 15
                                                  cents charged for the other contemporary
                                                  newspapers) as their production runs were
                                                  so large—up to 500,000 copies were printed
                                                  every day.

The output of the press was not much greater
than the wooden hand presses of the day,
around 250 sheets an hour compared to
200, but the robustness of the design was a
significant leap forward in platen design.

The earliest surviving example dates to around
1804 and had straight sides. These were prone

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