The Collection:
Cylinder Presses

Today, the idea of a flatbed cylinder is considered one of the defining accomplishments in printing. These machines could print on much larger paper sizes and at a far greater speed. The cylinder also pushed machine designs into rotary configurations, making way for even greater speeds. The modern web press (printing from a roll of paper) owes much to the cylinder concept.

Various early developers hold a place in the cylinder’s history, but no one can capture the highest honour of Messrs. Koenig & Bauer. Friedrich Koenig was a printer in Saxony, Germany. He is credited with his partner, Andreas Bauer, for designing and constructing a press for the Times of London newspaper. Ironically, the two had to leave Germany to develop their ideas. In 1811, the men received a patent, and the industry was never the same. The company these two formed in Germany, Koenig & Bauer, remains a leading builder and supplier of printing machinery today.

The concept of the cylinder, either rotating against another cylinder or over a bed of type, was widespread, and hundreds of models from the likes of the R. Hoe & Co. to Albert Frankenthal, Miehle, M.A.N, Heidelberg, and Wharfedale played key roles. The cylinder was manufactured well into the 1970s and still finds favour as a die-cutter. The HIW has several examples of machines between 1840 and 1950.


Heidelberg Exquisit Cylinder Press

Mercedes Cylinder Press

Miehle V50X Vertical Cylinder Press

C. Potter Jr. Cylinder Press
Planeta Cylinder Press

1985 Heidelberg SRDW Rotary Press

Join our mailing list

Stay up-to-date with the latest museum news and activities.