1843: Steam- Powered rotary drum printing invented
Innovation: Steam-Powered rotary drum printing invented
Location: United States
By: Richard March Hoe
Richard March Hoe grew up in a family who owned and operated a steam powered printing manufactory. By the age of fifteen, he began to work at his family’s printing manufactory and eventually when his father died in 1833, Richard Hoe became the head of the company. By this time in his career, Hoe realized that there must be some fundamental changes to the flat bed printing press to increase the speed of the job and he began working on a solution. More than a decade later in 1843, Hoe changed the printing game forever with his invention of the steam-powered rotary printing press. The type on this press was placed on a revolving cylinder that the paper ran under, greatly increasing the speed of the job. By 1847, Hoe patented his invention and it was first commercially used in the offices of the Philadelphia Public Ledger. With the rotary printing press, publications could now print at 8,000 pages an hour, revolutionizing the world of communication forever. There was a major increase in literature and information reaching the public, as it was now possible for publications to produce large daily editions. Hoe’s invention has been modified and improved over the years, but is still used as the foundation of the modern printing press.