Printing History

Mans earliest known attempt at a visual record of his life and times dates back 30,000 years. Drawings, which were known as pictographs, were super seded by the more complex ideographs of later humans. As the years progressed, the ideographs were replaced by the Persians’ cuneiforms, and then by hieroglyphics which were perfected by the […]

Printing History – Early Typesetting

For more than 400 years after the invention of printing, all type was set by hand. By the 19th century, man began to consider the possibility of creating typesetting machines. Numerous machines intended to replace hand composition were invented. Of all the various types of type setting machines invented only two remained. Machines such as […]

Printing History – History of the Printing Press

Crude wooden hand presses allowed the printer to transfer ink to paper. These old slow presses could only print 300 to 500 printed sheets per day. Over time, power-driven machines could produce the same number of printed sheets in a few minutes (in newspaper printing, a few seconds). The old wooded presses used a torsion […]

Printing History – History of Lithography

Alois Senefelder of Munich discovered the basic principle of Lithography, priting on stone, around 1798. Working with a highly porous stone, Senefelder sketched his design with a greasy substance, which was absorbed by the stone. He then wetted the entire surface with a mixture of gum Arabic and water (fountain solution). Only the stone areas […]

Printing History – History of Printing Ink

Ink was already in use for printing (from wooded blocks) at the time of Gutenberg developed his movable type system. Early inks consisted of lampblack or soot mixed with animal glue or vegetable oils. Ink making became a highly developed art among the Chinese. They introduced earth colors and printed from hand-cut block in the […]