The Press Room
We come now to the hand-press room, to which the several portions of the various forms of hand presses are brought, as finished in their separate details, from the various other rooms, and put together perfectly, so that hence they are fitted to be sent to their places of destination, and are ready to go into instant operation.
Here we find the new improved job printing machine, which is known as the little jobber. This press combines the advantages of speed and durability with convenience, simplicity and cheapness. It is capable of throwing off 2500 impressions per hour with ease, or more, if the feed-boy can supply the sheets, and may even be driven by the foot with a treadle, and works so still, that a person standing a few feet from it, cannot hear it. The manner of running the bed is entirely original and is done by means ofa crank and lever, which gives it a slow and unilorm motion while the impression is being taken, hut a quick retrograde movement, thus combining a slow impression with speed.
Another new feature of the press is, that the sheet-flyer is so arranged, that no tapes pass around the impression cylinder, so that whatever sized form is worked, there are neither tapes nor fingers to shift, thus obviating the only objection to that apparatus for a jobbing press. It has an iron feed and fly-board, and all our recent improvements, such as an adjustable knife to the fountain, bearers for the bed, patent feed-guides, etc, etc. The bed is l6x13 inches inside of bearers, and 18x13 inches without bearers. The press occupies 5 feet by 3feet. Price $600.
We have also the Washington and Smith hand presses, which are generally used for country newspaper printing, and which have obtained so much celebrity, and are in such exclusive and constant use in almost every printing office in the United States and other countries, during the last twenty years, as to render any remarks upon their superiority unnecessary. They are elegant in appearance, simple, quick and powerful in operation, and combine every facility for the production of superior printing.
Each press is tried in the manufactory and warranted for one year. Here again we have the type-revolving book press, in which, as in the great fast Printing type-revolving machine, the forms of type are fastened on a portion of the circumference of a large, horizontal cylinder, the remainder of which, slightly depressed below the types, is used as a distributor to supply the ink which it brings up from the fountain to the inking rollers which revolve against the types, against which again revolve the other cylinders, more or less in number, in an opposite direction to the rotatory action of the type-revolving cylinder, to which the sheets are fed, and from which they are taken up and thrown off in regular piles by self-acting flyers.
Inking machines, card-printing presses, hand-lever printing presses, proof presses, copperplate and lithographic presses, are all turned out from this department in that perfection which has obtained for the Messrs. Hoe a celebrity really world-wide, and caused their names to be known and their improvements adopted in almost every country of the world, and that, too, through no blind accident of fortune, but by dint of real superiority and merit. In proof of this, it will be necessary only to state that hand-presses of this establishment are at this moment in successful operation in Canada, the British Provinces, Cuba, Calcutta, Mexico, Bengal, nay, even in unimproving, stationary China, where they were introduced during the visit to that strange country of Mr, Cutting, as United States Commissioner.
Attached to the hand-press room is a small chamber appropriated to the safe-keeping, sharpening and ordering all the drills and edge tools of the department, under the care of one person, who is answerable for the safeguard and efficiency of the whole stories, which have been thrown together, for the perfecting of the vast and wonderful fast-printing machine, by the removal of the ceiling, in order to make room for the great and complicated mass of moving cylinders, and to give space for the operations of the numerous artisans employed upon it.
The machine now in building, is one of six cylinders, for the use of the New York Herald, which now drives one of four cylinders, and is the same in almost every respect that of the Tribune, being made with wide cylinders for the printing of double sheets; while that of the Sun, with eight cylinders, is suitable only for the smaller folios of that journal. With regard to this machine, as we , shall notice it more fully when we come to speak of it as in operation, we shall say no more in this place exeept that it is the head and front of all the wonderful inventions and improvements which now enable joumals to be furnished to the world at prices merely nominal, their vast and unheard of circulation compensating their moderate prices, and producing in the gross, a highly remunerative profit.
The six cylinder press is calculated to throw off twenty-five hundred copies to each cylinder, fed by one man, or an aggregate of fifteen thousand in the single hour. The four cylinder press now in operation in the light and beautiful vault of the Herald, has done even more than at this ratio, having, when pressed, actually thrown off twelve thousand copies in one honr. These presses were first introduced by the Messrs. Hoe only some five or six years ago; and their utmost calculation, as to the probable number which they should ever be called upon to manufacture. was five and twenty, but so marvelously has the demand exceeded their wildest imagination that they have already built sixteen, one of which is, as we observed heretofore, in operation for La Patrie, the French government organ; and three more are ordered, and in progress of formation. About four months is required for the erection of one of these splendid machines, or if extraordinary exertions be used, even a shorter time.
It is a pregnant filet, and one singularly corroborative of the soundness of the writer's view, as expressed in the early portion of this article relative to the effect of machinery in increasing rather than diminishing the number of hands employed, or likely to be employed, in the business of printing, in consequence of the daily augmenting demand for printed matter arising from its cheapness and perfection that, since the introduction of the fast-printing machines the call for hand presses has greatly increased.
During the past year, the sale of this article alone, by the Messrs, Hoe, rose to so many as five a week during the whole twelve months; in all amounting to two hundred and sixty, besides all the other instruments and appliances of the printers' and bookbinders' professions. After this, completing the press making department, we come to the cylinder press rooms, occupying one entire flat of the building, in which we find the patent improved double cylinder, the single small, cylinder, and the single large cylinder printing machines, in every state of progress from their very inception to absolute perfection. These machines are so excellently and clearly described in the Messrs. Hoe's illustrated catalogue,. beautifully got up for the use of their customers, that we cannot do better than extract their words as more plain and comprehensible than any we could readily substitute for them, we therefore give them as below, without doubt or hesitation: "The Double Cylinder Printing Machine. In its arrangement this press is similar to the Single Small Cylinder Machine; except that it has two impression cylinders each alternately giving an impression from the same form.
The sheets are supplied by two attendants, and, if required to print short editions of various sizes, it will be necessary to have a boy at each end of the press to receive the printed sheets, but where large editions or forms of uniform size are worked, not requiring frequent changes of the tape-wheels, the self-sheet-flying apparatus is very efficient and economical, placing the printed sheets in heaps with precision, and dispensing entirely with the two boys otherwise required for that purpose. "The large amount of printing ordinarily done on these presses, and the consequent speed required, have rendered necessary greatly increased strength and weight of material in all the parts, together with simplicity in the mechanical arrangements, and the utmost perfection of workmanship.
The noise and annoyance occasioned by the concussion of the bed against the springs, which are placed at each end of the machine to overcome the momentum of the bed, has been removed by means of adjustable India rubber buffers placed at the points of contact, which in no way interfere with the lively and certain action of the spiral springs. " Each Machine is furnished with Roller Moulds, two sets of Roller Stocks, Blankets and Band; also, Fly Wheel and Stand, if to be driven by hand power; or Counter Shaft, two hangers and Pulley, if by steam power. " The Patent Single Small Cylinder Printing Machine. In this press the form of types is placed upon a flat head, and the impression taken upon the paper by means of a cylinder, while the form is passing under it.
The small size of the cylinder allows the machine to be constructed in a very compact manner, so as to shorten the distance which the bed travels, thereby considerably increasing the number of impressions in a given time, beyond the single large cylinder press. "The machine is of convenient height for use. One person only is required to teed down the paper, whose position is but a step from the flour. It will give from 2,000 to 3,000 impressions per hour, with perfect safety to the machinery.
The printed sheets are thrown out by a fly frame in a uniform pile. Register sufficiently accurate for newspaper and job work is obtained by the patent feed guides, which are attached to each press. When required, a registering or pointing apparatus is furnished, and the press may then be used advantageously for book work. "This press is made in the same substantial manner as the double cylinder press described above, with buffers similarly arranged to prevent noise. " When driven by steam power, No.8 occupies feet by 12 feet. If by man power, requiring fly wheel and stand, it occupies 8 feet by 16 feet" Each Machine is furnished with Roller Moulds, two sets of Roller Stocks, Blankets and Band; also, Fly Wheel and Stand, if to be driven by hand power; or Counter Shaft, two Hangers and Pulley if by steam power.
The patent single large cylinder printing machine. This machine is particularly adapted to book and fine newspaper work. It has a perfect registering apparatus and sheet-flyer; also adjustable iron bearers, so that stereotype may be worked with the same facility and beauty as type forms. One boy is required to lay on the sheets, and the press may be driven by man or steam-power. With the same attendance, it will print twice as fast as any bed and platen machine, and equally as well in every respect; say from 1,000 to 2,000 impressions in an hour, according to the size of the press, and the quality of the work desired.
Vulcanized India rubber impression-cloth for these presses is now furnished; and as it is not readily indented by the type, forms of different sizes may be worked without any change of blankets. Overlays are conveniently made on the rubber, and may be removed by a wet sponge. To prevent noise, buffers are applied as in the double cylinder machine. An artist's drawing-room completes this department.