Stanhope Press (490 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay


Until the end of the eighteenth century printing presses were made of wood and driven by hand. The pressman pulled a bar which turned the screw and pressed the paper onto the inked forme (where the type was set). A wooden press could print an average of about 200 sheets an hour with each sheet requiring two pulls of the bar. Pressmen would work a twelve-hour day with two or three men to each press. The man who pulled the bar had a footrest so that he could throw his whole weight behind each pull and the strain this placed on the wooden machine was so great that presses would often have to be repaired. The major improvements needed to make the hand press more efficient, according to historian of printing James Moran, were a more stable …

Mole, Tom. "Stanhope Press". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 July 2002
[, accessed 26 October 2016.]