Uber Land und Meer, which is one of the finest illustrated newspapers published in Germany, gives the following: We recently gave our readers an insight into the establishment of Uber Land und Meer, and to-day we show them the machine which each week starts our paper on its journey around the world--a machine which embodies the latest and greatest progress in the art of printing. The following illustration represents one of the three fast presses which the house of Hallberger employs in the printing of its illustrated journals.
With the invention of the cylinder press by Frederick König was verified the saying that the art of printing had lent wings to words. Everywhere the primitive hand-press had to make way for the steam printing machine; but even this machine, since its advent in London in 1810, has itself undergone so many changes that little else remains of König's invention than the principle of the cylinder. The demands of recent times for still more rapid machines have resulted in the production of presses printing from a continuous roll or "web" of paper, from cylinders revolving in one given direction. The first of this class of presses (the "Bullock" press) was built in America. Then England followed, and there the first newspaper to make use of one was the Times. The Augsburg Machine Works were the first to supply Germany with them, and it was this establishment which first undertook to apply the principle of the web perfecting press (first intended for newspaper work only, where speed rather than fine work is the object sought) to book printing, in which far greater accuracy and excellence is required, and the result has been the construction of a rotary press for the highest grade of illustrated periodical publications, which meets all the requirements with the most complete success.
IMPROVED FAST PRINTING PRESS FOR ENGRAVERS
The building of rotary presses for printing illustrated papers was attempted as early as 1874 or 1875 in London, by the Times, but apparently without success, as no public mention has ever been made of any favorable result. The proprietor of the London Illustrated News obtained better results. In 1877 an illustrated penny paper, an outgrowth of his great journal, was printed upon a rotary press which was, according to his statement, constructed by a machinist named Middleton. The first one, however, did not at all meet the higher demands of illustrated periodical printing, and, while another machine constructed on the same principle was shown in the Paris Exposition of 1878, its work was neither in quality nor quantity adequate to the needs of a largely circulated illustrated paper. A second machine, also on exhibition at the same time, designed and built by the celebrated French machinist, P. Alauzet, could not be said to have attained the object. Its construction was undertaken long after the opening of the Exposition, and too late to solve the weighty question.
But the half-successful attempt gave promise that the time was at hand when a press could be built which could print our illustrated periodicals more rapidly, and a conference with the proprietors of the Augsburg Machine Works resulted in the production by them of the three presses from which Uber Land und Meer and Die Illustrirte Welt are to-day issued. As a whole and in detail, as well as in its productions, the press is the marvel of mechanic and layman.
As seen in the illustration, the web of paper leaves the roll at its right, rising to a point at the top where it passes between two hollow cylinders covered with felt and filled with steam, which serve to dampen the paper as may be necessary, the small hand-wheel seen above these cylinders regulating the supply of steam. After leaving these cylinders the paper descends sloping toward the right, and passes through two highly polished cylinders for the purpose of recalendering. After this it passes under the lowest of the three large cylinders of the press, winds itself in the shape of an S toward the outside and over the middle cylinder, and leaves the press in an almost horizontal line, after having been printed on both sides, and is then cut into sheets. The printing is done while the paper is passing around the two white cylinders. The cylinder carrying the first form is placed inside and toward the center of the press, only a part of its cog-wheel and its journal being shown in the engraving. The second form is placed upon the uppermost cylinder, and is the outside or cut form. Each one of the form cylinders requires a separate inking apparatus. That of the upper one is placed to the right at the top, and the bottom one is also at the right, but inside.
Each one has a fountain the whole breadth of the press, in which the ink is kept, and connected with which, by appropriate mechanism, is a system of rollers for the thorough distribution of the ink and depositing it upon the forms.
The rapidity with which the impressions follow each other does not allow any time for the printing on the first side to dry, and as a consequence the freshly printed sheet coming in contact with the "packing" of the second cylinder would so soil it as to render clean printing absolutely impossible. To avoid this, a second roll of paper is introduced into the machine, and is drawn around the middle cylinder beneath the paper which has already been printed upon one side, and receives upon its surface all "offset," thus protecting and keeping perfectly clean both the printed paper and the impression cylinder. This "offset" web, as it leaves the press, is wound upon a second roller, which when full is exchanged for the new empty roller--a very simple operation.
The machines print from 3,500 to 4,000 sheets per hour upon both sides, a rate of production from twenty-eight to thirty-two times as great as was possible upon the old-fashioned hand-press, which was capable of printing not more than 250 copies upon one side in the same time.
The device above described for preventing "offset" is, we believe, the invention of Mr. H.J. Hewitt, a well known New York printer, 27 Rose Street.