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Heidelberg T Platen - Age 1927 - from the Howard Iron Works Collection

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Schnellpressenfabrik AG. Heidelberg T "Tiegel" Platen Press - Germany

Age: 1927, Serial No. 9620, Size 260 x 380 mm

Schnellpressenfabrik AG., later to take the name of its hometown - Heidelberg, was instrumental in designing the world’s most popular automatic platen press. Affectionately known as the “Windmill” for its two flying grippers, the Tiegel (small platen) revolutionized printing by automatically feeding and delivering paper at 6 times the speed of a “hand fed” version. This machine is referred to as “Commercial Improved” and did not yet have gauge pins for accurate register.

Schnellpressenfabrik AG. Heidelberg T "Tiegel" Platen Press - Germany


Serial No.:

Bed size:




260 x 350 mm


Heidelberg T "Tiegel" Platen Series - Interesting Facts

  • The first platen designed in Köln (Cologne) by a German printer named Karl Gilke in 1912
  • Gilke sells the patent rights to Heidelberg - 1912
  • Schnellpresse, as Heidelberg was called, produced the first windmill platen in 1914
  • The Heidelberger Druckautomat, as it was later referred, became the first print machine to be assembled on a movable assembly line - 1926
  • In order to distinguish itself from Czechoslovakian copies, Schnellpresse started placing “ORIGINAL HEIDELBERG” crests on its machines - 1950
  • H.W. Howard, along with many salesmen involved with the platen, starts taking it on the road for demonstrations all over the province of Quebec, Canada - circa 1955
  • Schnellpresse changes its name to HEIDELBERGER DRUCKMASCHINEN AG - 1967
  • The last of the famous Heidelberg platens left the Wiesloch factory - over 165,000 were made - 1985


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